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Criminal Minds vs Criminal Minds: Evolution

When you compare Criminal Minds: Evolution to the original Criminal Minds, you will find that although it has a similar cast, it is much darker.

Criminal Minds has consistently been one of the most popular crime procedural shows for over 15 years.

Now that Criminal Minds has been rebooted into the direct-to-streaming Criminal Minds: Evolution, many fans are curious to know whether it is as good as or better than the original series.

Fortunately, the returning cast, darker plotlines, and new focus makes the reboot even better than the original.

How popular was Criminal Minds really?

Criminal Minds has been one of the most popular crime procedural shows on television for a long time. The show has had high rankings from the day that it premiered, scoring a 6.5 out of 10 in the 18-49 year demographic for its very first episode in 2005.

These high ratings continued from there and the show average between 8 million and 14.95 million viewers throughout its 15 seasons.

In fact, the series remained popular for the entire time that it was on the air and based on search volume in 2020 alone, Criminal Minds even beat out popular shows like Law & Order: SVUSons of Anarchy, and The Boys.

Criminal Minds vs Criminal Minds: Evolution

This continued popularity is also what encouraged the creation of the Criminal Minds: Evolution revival spin-off after the original Criminal Minds ended.

As with any reboot, Criminal Minds: Evolution differs from its predecessor in a few ways.

The most notable variation is that the reboot was written and produced to go straight to the streaming service Paramount+, instead of the original show, which aired on CBS.

Although this is slightly inconvenient for fans of the original show that will now have to pay a subscription fee to watch the revival, it does allow the creators of the show to be much more liberal with their scripts and plotlines.

However, even though there are some dissimilarities between the new show and the original, some elements remain the same.

For instance, there are plenty of cast members returning to Criminal Minds: Evolution. While their titles within the BAU may have changed since Criminal Minds ended, the team dynamic that fans have grown to love in the original show remains the same.

Overall, the reception of the special two-episode premiere of Criminal Minds: Evolution, which aired on 24 November 2022, has been overwhelmingly positive.

In fact, many critics have actually posited that Criminal Minds: Evolution is better than the original Criminal Minds, because the show places the focus on the profilers, instead of on the people committing the crimes.

Which cast members from Criminal Minds are also in Criminal Minds: Evolution?

One of the best parts about Criminal Minds: Evolution is that it features so many members of the original cast. This makes the show feel like a true extension of the original, rather than a brand new show.

Some of these returning cast members include:

  • Joe Mantegna (David Rossi)
  • Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss)
  • Aisha Tyler (Tara Lewis)
  • Adam Rodriguez (Luke Alvez)
  • Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia)
  • J. Cook (Jennifer Jareau)

This returning cast is also joined by a new face, Zach Gilford, who plays Elias Voit.

Why do people think that Criminal Minds: Evolution is darker than Criminal Minds?

Even though only two episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution have been released, critics have already praised the show for how it truly seems to have matured from the original series.

The fact that the show is exclusively available on Paramount+ allows the writers to adjust the pacing of the show and to go much darker with the tone than the original show could.

This includes the fact that Criminal Minds: Evolution seems to ignore the happy ending that the writers gave Criminal Minds, which was not well-received by fans and once again placed the focus on the strain that the job of being a profiler places on the characters.

The killing scenes are also more gory than they were in the original show.

Why is Criminal Minds: Evolution better than Criminal Minds?

The main reason why fans of the franchise already suspect that Criminal Minds: Evolution is going to be even better than Criminal Minds is because this new show dives much deeper into the personal lives and emotional development of the BAU team.

Fans have wanted to see more of their favourite characters on the show for some time and Criminal Minds simply did not have the time to explore this.

But Criminal Minds: Evolution places much more focus on the profilers as they work to solve mysteries, which gives viewers a much more in-depth perspective of the characters.

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