'Criminal Minds: Evolution' Is Returning for Season 2 — and the Premiere Date Is Soon

Adam Rodriguez, Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Aisha Tyler

When Criminal Minds: Evolution premiered on Paramount+ on Thanksgiving Day in November 2022, not only the title had evolved, but so had the series. Instead of the original series’ case-of-the-week format, the 10-episode season focused on one case: the hunt for the biggest, baddest serial killer the show has had to date, Sicarius, who was revealed to be a man named Elias Jasper Voit (Zach Gilford). What made Sicarius especially lethal was the fact that during the COVID-19 lockdown, he had organized a network of serial killers.

Despite the fact that Voit was finally apprehended, when the season wrapped, fans were left with the scary thought: What will happen now that Sicarius may be involved in something more sinister named Gold Star? And that will be pursued when the series returns.

Season 2 is shaping up to continue the season-long case format. Per showrunner Erica Messer in an interview with EW, "We're just loving the serialized storytelling, because it's something we really got to do for the first time last year. To know that we can play with all of our same heroes really makes us excited."

Following is everything we know about Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2, including its cast, release date, spoilers and more.

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When will Criminal Minds: Evolution premiere for Season 2?

Criminal Minds was picked up for its second season back in January 2023, but like so many of the scripted series intended to premiere last fall, it got pushed to 2024 due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. We can now tell you that it will premiere its second season on Thursday, June 6. The 10-episode new season will premiere with the first two episodes available to stream at launch with subsequent new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays.

According to Paget Brewster, who posted on X: "We start filming mid January at a break neck pace to get episodes to you ASAP! We all hope you will watch and love them!"

Related: The 100 Best Quotes from Criminal Minds

Who will return for season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

<p>CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi

<p>CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss

<p>Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

A.J. Cook as Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau

<p>CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

CREDIT: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia

<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez

<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis

Zach Gilford<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Zach Gilford

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Will Zach Gilford return as Elias Jasper Voit, aka Sicarius, in season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

That is a definite yes per showrunner Erica Messer. He may be in jail, so he is most likely recurring rather than a series regular, but he will be aiding the BAU in solving the Gold Star case. Much like Hannibal Lecter did in The Silence of the Lambs.

Related: Zach Gilford Reveals the One Part He Hates Most About His Killer Role on Criminal Minds: Evolution

Which Desperate Housewives star will guest star on season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

Felicity Huffman<p>Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage</p>
Felicity Huffman

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Emmy-winning actress Felicity Huffman will join Criminal Minds: Evolution as a guest star for the series’ second season on Paramount+. The role will mark her first major network series hiring since the reveal of her part in a college admissions scandal in 2019.

The Desperate Housewives alum will play “Dr. Jill Gideon, a brilliant biological psychiatrist, who agrees to help the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit investigate a murderous conspiracy theory. Jill is reluctant to return to the bureau’s elite team given her complicated history with David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and her dead ex-husband, Jason Gideon (previously played by original series star Mandy Patinkin), but soon realizes her specific skill set could help them uncover another clue to the elusive Gold Star mystery.”

Who will leave Criminal Minds: Evolution in season 2?

Josh Stewart, who recurred in the role of New Orleans Police Department detective William LaMontagne Jr. and JJ's husband, announced on X that "sadly, my days of playing Will LaMontagne Jr. are over. You guys have been the absolute best."

While Stewart didn't explain his exit from the role, in Evolution's first season, Will had a a cancer scare. It turned out he only had a treatable, inflamed thyroid, but Messer hinted at that time that he wasn't completely out of the woods. So, the character's exit may be for health reasons and JJ could be a widow with two young sons, or it could be something else entirely.

Paramount+ has yet to confirm this news.

Will Ryan-James Hatanaka return as Tyler Green in season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

<p>Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>

Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

It has now been confirmed that Hatanaka will be joining the series as a regular for Season 2.

Earlier Messer told Variety, "Yes, there’s a very great chance that we will be seeing Tyler. We loved Tyler. We love RJ. We thought that relationship would do exactly what it did this season, but we really liked giving Garcia that messy relationship. We just completely bought that she would break up with him after that betrayal, but that maybe it isn’t over. Maybe this is her person. We want to keep exploring that, so it’s gonna get a little more complicated next year because he’s going to be around still, sort of consulting, and where it gets messy now is Alvez knows about it. So there can be a little bit more of a triangle than we’ve ever really done on the show, in terms of the members being in relationships. It felt like now’s the time to do it. We also didn’t want to deny Garcia and Tyler this bond because it does feel special and real."

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid
Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid

Will Matthew Gray Gubler come back for season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

There is also the possibility that Matthew Gray Gubler will appear in the second season, reprising his role as Dr. Spencer Reid. He had a conflicting schedule during the filming of season one, so he wasn’t available.

Daniel Henney
Daniel Henney

Will Daniel Henney come back for season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution?

It is unclear whether Daniel Henney will return as Matt Simmons. Last season, he was filming The Wheel of Time in Prague. Season 2 of The Wheel of Time premiered Sept. 1 and the series has already been picked up for Season 3.

Related: Kirsten Vangsness on the Return of Criminal Minds and the 'Evolution' and 'Deliciousness' of Garcia and Luke's Relationship

Is there a trailer for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

Paramount+ has not yet released a trailer for season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution, but we have a first look at photos.

Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Joe Mantegna and A.J. Cook<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Joe Mantegna and A.J. Cook

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Kirsten Vangsness, Ryan-James Hatanaka, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna and Paget Brewster<p>Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+</p>
Kirsten Vangsness, Ryan-James Hatanaka, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna and Paget Brewster

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

What is the storyline for Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

Criminal Minds: Evolution picks up as the FBI’s elite team of profilers investigates the deadly mystery of GOLD STAR. As the conspiracy unfolds, the Behavioral Analysis Unit is met with an unexpected complication when serial killer Elias Voit negotiates a deal that transfers him to federal custody in the BAU’s own backyard. The team faces its biggest threat yet and cannot emerge unscathed from the mind-bending consequences.

Are there any spoilers for the Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2?

Yes, the plan for Season 2, according to Messer, is to have Zach Gilford return as Elias Voit to help the BAU figure out what Gold Star is.

Messer told EW, “The plan is to have Voit back next season almost as our Hannibal Lecter. And when things come up regarding Gold Star is when we have to go get his help. We don't want to because we did just fine without that guy, but he holds answers to something unique and we have to talk to him every once in a while. So, he is involved in a way that we weren't expecting when we first created Voit.”

What happened in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1?

Season one of Criminal Minds: Evolution followed one UnSub— Elias Voit/Sicarius—throughout the season, and for the finale, Sicarius was finally arrested, and Rossi was rescued from the underground bunker where he was imprisoned just in time to save his life.

The Sicarius case was an interesting one, because it wasn’t just about one serial killer. Rather the BAU had to track down a network of serial killers who were put together by Voit during the COVID 19 pandemic. And as they tracked down each one, the path led them to Voit.

Season one also dealt with a lot of family issues. Rossi was mourning the death of his wife Krystall (Gail O'Grady), JJ’s husband Detective William LaMontagne, Jr. (Josh Stewart) is facing medical issues. He’s okay for now, but has to do regular checkups. Dr. Tara Lewis was in a romantic relationship with Rebecca (Nicole Pacent) and went through a nasty breakup, and Garcia was in an inappropriate relationship with Tyler Green, which also ended badly.

When did Criminal Minds end?

Criminal Minds ended its 15-year run Feb. 19, 2020.

Where can I watch episodes of the original Criminal Minds series?

There are several options. Of course, Paramount+ has all 15 seasons as does Hulu.

How can I watch Criminal Minds: Evolution?

Criminal Minds: Evolution streams exclusively on Paramount+.

Next, Criminal Minds Ended With Season 15: See the Cast Through the Years