Criminal Minds season 12 will introduce a new BAU member after Shemar Moore's exit from the show as Derek Morgan in season 11. Actor Adam Rodriguez will join the cast for the upcoming season as a series regular.
The former CSI: Miami actor will join the Behavioral Analysis Unit as the special agent of the FBI Fugitive Task Force. "We're all big fans of Adam's and are excited to welcome him back to the CBS family as part of the terrific cast of Criminal Minds," Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment said in a statement.
"We're thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Adam Rodriguez to our amazing cast," executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer said ahead of the show's fall premiere.
The 41-year-old actor, who appeared in Jane The Virgin and Empire, will join Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Matthew Gray Gubler, AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness in the popular police procedural drama by CBS.
Season 11 of the show ended on a cliff-hanger, with a major prison break that allowed Peter Lewis aka "Mr. Scratch" and 13 other serial killers to escape. The upcoming season will focus on the plans and action of the BAU to apprehend the criminals.
Following Rodriguez's casting, it was assumed he would play a key role in helping agent Hotch and his team catch Mr. Scratch. However, questions remain on whether he will be able to fill the void left by the beloved character Derek.
Criminal Minds season 12 will have 22 episodes and will premiere in fall this year.