Criminal Minds Part 2: Time to Boycott CBS

19 October 2009 - Los Angeles, California - Thomas Gibson, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness, Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, A. J. Cook and Crew. The Cast and Crew of CRIMINAL MINDS celebrating their 100th Episode with a cake cutting. held At The Quixote Studios. Photo Credit: Kevan Brooks/AdMedia

(See my previous blog entry for the background on the Criminal Minds story)

In case you missed the news, CBS and Criminal Minds’ producers have decided that A.J. Cook is indeed staying fired.  She gets  two episodes to tie up her storyline.  Paget Brewster fared somewhat better; supposedly she is in 10 out of 13 episodes. Although it is a 22 episode season, so I don’t understand the math. Gee, too bad CBS also cancelled Numb3rs!  I could have used the help in figuring it out. [1.  More fuzzy CBS math: Season episodes reduced were to 16 so Miami Medical could air in its spot. Numb3rs was then cancelled.]

Because I just really don’t get it. CBS and the producers seem totally determined to destroy a great show. Not sure where their minds are at.

I think that website said it best:

And I can’t help but be angry at CBS. I still feel like they are sending a very bad message to their viewers, their female ones in particular. They cut three strong female characters from their fall line up (AJ off Criminal Minds, Liz Vassey from CSI, and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s show Ghost Whisperer got completely canceled), and reduced the role of another, then they decided to pay Charlie Sheen, who admittedly abused his wife, nearly 2 million dollars an episode for Two and a Half Men. They fire, reduce, and replace female presence on their network, then reward a man who abuses his wife? Not cool, CBS. Show women a little more respect, will you?

And Janeane Garofalo in talks for the spin off for Criminal Minds? Check the picture of Garofalo in the linked article. Can we say Garcia clone, boys and girls?  So much for any real creativity.

What else do we have to look forward to? Maybe the new female character on Criminal Minds will be played by Executive Producer Bernero’s daughter. After all, nepotism  has to be better than sexism, right?

So where do we go from here? One person suggested boycotting CBS but not Criminal Minds. However, it doesn’t seem fair to boycott shows like NCIS without boycotting the show that is actually the problem. Will CBS really get the point that it is their actions on Criminal Minds that we are upset about if we keep watching anyway?  I don’t think so.

In fact, I think CBS is counting on the fact the most people will grumble and complain, but ultimately continue to watch anyway. CBS never even bothered to address the fans’ concerns; they are that sure that people will continue to tune in.

But I won’t be one of them. Personally, I have had enough.  And I wrote them and told them so.

Over this last week, I have been practicing not watching CBS.  No more NCIS, the CSI  franchises, Medium, or even Entertainment Tonight.  No more nightly news from the CBS affiliate. And yeah, I am taking it to extremes: No more Criminal Minds reruns on A & E or Ion.  No more NCIS reruns on USA.  No more CSI  reruns on Spike.

Even the DVDs (and I own them all) are staying on the shelf, unwatched. And, I am looking into boycotting the CBS advertisers as well.

I urge everybody who cares about Criminal Minds (and getting quality programming in general) to boycott CBS as well.

And you know what? I am surviving just fine, with the aid of my Roku Player. And my Kindle.  And my computer. And my netbook. And Hulu.

Are you getting the picture, CBS?  It is a brave new world out there. I mean with that new-fangled Internet and all. People actually have choices about when and what they want to watch. And I have lots of toys to play with….

How about you? Are you a disgruntled Criminal Minds fan? Are you protesting the change? Or, have you ever had your favorite television show cancelled (or cannibalized)?  How did you react?

35 thoughts on “Criminal Minds Part 2: Time to Boycott CBS”

  1. It’s not fair IMO to boycott the show. I’m still watching it. I love the other actors as well. It’s NOT, I repeat NOT their fault because of what CBS did.

  2. Lynn, I realize a lot of people may feel as you do. I just happen to disagree. For myself, I choose not to watch the show (or any other CBS show, for that matter). I truly feel that unless people take a stand and vote with their wallets and their remotes, networks won’t listen to the fans.

    However, I think everyone has to do what they feel right about. By all means you should continue to watch if that’s what you want to do. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  3. I agree with you completely. Some moron executives (male of course) probably thought to make Criminal Minds more of a testosterone festival to appeal to the 18-35 year old male market. More guns, more shooting, blood and violence. Ditch the female element and the show can turn into a locker room fest. CBS are not even as competent as toddlers who run a lemonade stand. Jim Skafish
    .-= Jim Skafish´s last blog ..No Liberation Here Day and a Giveaway- =-.

    1. Jim, I agree. I just don’t think that CBS realizes the number of female viewers this show had. How many they retain may be another story. I think that the story lines would be too dark without these two female characters.

  4. Excellent take on the situation. I think they are being lazy and trying to cash in on the success of the show. Wheter or not they’re being sexist is an unanswered question, but what they’re doing is not right IMO.

    Personally, I’m undecided as to the exact action I’ll take, but I definitely think something has to be done with this. Otherwise, we’re giving tacit aproval to what CBS is doing to the show. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to completely boycott the network, but definitely if there’s something else on worth watching Wednesdays at 8 pm, I’ll be tuning in to that. There definitely ARE a lot of other sources to get one’s tv/entertainment from, and that’s definitely a good thing.

    1. Kelly, the fact that something has to be done is exactly my point. The whole reason for this entry was to get people to think about what they were comfortable with doing. I myself am still angry that CBS didn’t address the fans directly.

      1. AMEN!

        That is definitely the point. CBS does not care about the fan reaction to it. They didn’t even say anything about the petition that got 40K+ signatures. Even the actors who’ve been dismissed/reduced, on their twitter pages are trying to keep people watching the show, saying it wasn’t the actors’ fault that this happened.

        I just don’t know if lipstick to Nina Tassler will do anything. That’s why I feel we do have to do something radical.

        Got your point completely, and am on board 100% with hitting them where they live.

  5. I totally agree with you Glinda!! What CBS has done is wrong and they no doubt think that their fans, while pissed off and grumbling, will watch either way. They seem to think that viewers are mindless automatons with no opinion will watch whatever they put on. Well not this viewer! The reason I love Criminal Minds is because it is an ensamble show…take away any piece of that ensamble and the math just doesn’t add up. What made this show success is the cast and while I love all the cast I just can’t accept what CBS has done to a show that has done nothing but bring in new viewers almost every week!

    CBS is deifnately backward thinking if they think this show will go unaffected by this change. Take for instance the nearly same situation with CSI Miami and Adam Rodriguez last summer. CBS felt the need, for “creative reasons” (which is just double speak for “we don’t want to pay you”) to part ways with the actor and days before the decision came out they hired Eddie Cibrian but promised fans that Adam would still be there…yeah right! Well, in the end the joke was on CBS because their “creative decision” turned into a ratings disaster for the show! Miami averaged a cool 13-14 (sometimes more) million viewers a week and dominated the Monday night time slot. This past season they lost on several ocassions to ABC’s Castle and average a meager 9-10 million viewers a week!

    Those Adam/Eric as well as Eric/Calleigh fans who felt scorned obviously did not tune in. While Miami may not be or have been the most well written show, it was a powerhouse/work horse for the network every week. Now, the show has been moved to Sundays and ha ha ha, Adam Rodriguez (thanks to fan petitions and movements) will be back full time and Eddie Cibrian, who sucked royally, got the boot.

    In the end, CBS screwed themselves. There was no reason to tinker with that show or Criminal Minds. So again, while I love the show and have no ill will towards the rest of the cast, I don’t think I will be tuning in. Not because I don’t want to support the cast but simply because, as a woman, I cannot and will not condone the actions of this network. While I love to watch Shemar Moore for his sexiness, I love having and watching strong willed, independent kick ass women as well. By firing AJ Cook (who happens to be favorite on the show) and reducing Paget Brewster (my second favorite) CBS has effectively taken away any resprentation of women in law enforcement, not to mention working mothers in law enforcement in favor of more testosterone. Really?

    Thanks for the insult CBS but I thnk I will be tuning in to other networks and shows come the fall. Ones where women and their views are not only represented but repsected.

    1. Thanks, JC, for your thoughtful comment! Two of your points rock: “They seem to think that viewers are mindless automatons with no opinion will watch whatever they put on” and “Ones where women and their views are not only represented but respected” really resonate with me.

      A lot of shows change cast members for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an actor wants to leave a show, as with Cate Todd on NCIS. Sometimes it really is for creative reason. CBS in general ( and Criminal Minds in particular) have a history of making these kinds of decisions. Criminal Minds has dodged bullets twice: when Mandy Patinkin left and when Elle’s character was written out (supposedly because a producer did not like her).
      But to call it “creative reasons” when it is all about money and sexism is a bit much to take!

  6. I completely agree, Glinda and, as with your last post, am spreading the word. There’s so few quality shows on TV, it’s a shame when TV executives don’t understand viewer wants and needs.

    1. Amen to that, Dawn! But, we have to do waht we need to do, right? Do they realize that most women make the household purchasing decisions? Thanks for spreading the word!

  7. you didnt mention CSI on A&E too? just wanted to make sure you werent cheating :^D

    Glad you are taking a stand in something you believe in. not too many people do that these days

    1. LOL! Isn’t that CSI Miami that’s on A & E, Joe? Actually, I don’t watch it on A & E, so no, no cheating going on!

      Actually, I tend to take stands on thing all the time. I am just getting more vocal about it. 🙂 The danger of having a blog, I think, LOL!

  8. Repeats of Criminal Minds as well as CSI Miami are on A&E! Just an f.y.i. lol. CM also has reruns on Ion….although lately I am having a very hard time watching the reruns knowing what is coming come September!

    And definate kudos to you Glinda for standing up for what you believe in!

    1. Yeah, I knew that, LOL! I was tired and trying to be facetious doesn’t work very well when you are tired. I didn’t usually watch CSI: Miami on A & E though, so it didn’t cross my mind to list it.

      I agree with you about the reruns in the sense that if I watched them, I would get so angry every time I saw A.J. or Paget I would just seethe through the entire show. Better to quit cold turkey.

    1. No, just the ones on CSI: Las Vegas and Criminal Minds, plus canceled Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs and… well the list goes on…. And I am still mad they canceled Threshold with Brent Spiner in 2006!

  9. Nat, we’ve already protested to the decision makers on both the show and the network and were totally ignored. My philosophy is that by making this radical change that destroys the chemistry and tone of the show, we’ve already lost the show, so there is really nothing left to lose. The show as we knew it, is gone….

  10. I also have been a long time Criminal Minds fan. I really liked the ensemble and felt they worked well together and were a well-oiled machine and family. CBS should remember the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    It didn’t bother me too much when Elle left the show. I also recovered quickly when Manny left and Joe came in. But having both AJ and Prentiss leave/reduced hours makes me so furious. They were great professional female characters. I had already considered boycotting the show before I found this posting. Now I will join the many other women viewers who can only voice their displeasure with this decision by voting with their feet. Numbers are the only thing that networks really care about. So when the viewership falls and the show may be cancelled as a result, CBS can only point the finger back at themselves and acknowledge the reason behind the cancellation is the stupid decision they made to play with a formula and ensemble that worked and resonated with viewers. In case CBS hasn’t figured it out, people really do identify with characters on TV shows. Another pet peeve since I live in DC area — I can tell you that most of the characters wouldn’t pass the FBI dress code(an unwilling suspension of disbelief).

    At lease we still have Brenda. Thank God!

    1. JMBD3151, I so agree about the “If it ain’t broke…” sentiment. I would be really curious to know what CBS thinks is going to happen. I may be possible that a prerequisite for working at a network may be a very “fluid” interpretation of reality, LOL!

      I wonder if part of what CBS doesn’t get is that you can only dodge a bullet so many times on a show. Mandy Patinkin leaving was one. Since he had left other shows in the past, I am not sure if that was him or CBS.

      The Elle situation is more complicated, but still another bullet. Someone with family associated with the show had posted on the IMDB message boards at the time that it was a case of the producers not liking her. I think people either loved her character or hated it – not much in between. I thought she was a good character, appropriately written for someone with a background in sex crimes. They definitely did not do a good job writing her character out in a believable way, IMHO.

      And Rossi’s character is the one I think is the weakest link.

      But I am ROFLMAO about the dress code remark! That is my number one complaint about a lot of shows, especially offices and high schools!

  11. AMEN!!!

    Seriously TNT right now definately has the “woman is powerful and kick ass” thing going on! I will be watching something else come September.

    While they might be accurate representations, they were still representations for women in law enforcement and women on tv in general. I honestly don’t feel like my interests are being respected or represented…therefore I won’t be watching.

    This will all come back to bite them in their collective, penny pinching asses! And you are right JMBD3151, the only ones they will be able to point the finger at for depressed ratings will be themselves. There was no reason to mess with this great show.

    And kudos to Melina K for walking instead of taking a pay cut! Why should she have to take the pay cut? Why not someone else? Enough with treating women like commodoties that can be tossed away or aside whenever possible.

    1. JC, Amen is right! I agree with both you and JMBD3151 about Brenda and TNT! The Closer is one of my faves! I am just really sad that Saving Grace won’t be continuing. These are great portrayals of women – not perfect little Barbie Dolls, but really authentic, interesting characters. We need more like them in television and film.

      And, if I had any doubt that boycotting CBS was the right think to do, the news about Melina Kanakaredes would have totally convinced me that I was making the right decision. Shame, shame on CBS!

  12. I don’t think you will be alone in the boycotting Glinda. I have told myself that I am only going to watch the 2 eps (still think that is insulting) that AJ will be in and that will be it. I love the show but the more time that passes the more angry I get regarding CBS’s stupid decision to ruin a great show and ensamble cast. The ratings for the show this upcoming season will definately reflect any anger and disappointment fans have for the show and network.

    Moving Kirsten over to the spin off to reprise her role as Garcia is just a ploy by the network to get fans to watch the dreadful thing. CBS hopes that since Garcia is such a popular character that her fans will tune in to see her and therefore hopefully fall in love with the spin off….it is a lame ploy and imo an insult to viewers intelligence.

  13. JC, I am still not watching – and don’t intend to, even the episodes with AJ. Like you, I have gotten more angry as time goes on. Definitely an insult. But then, I think that is CBS’ style. 🙁

    1. Jenn, I don’t have Facebook myself, but encourage everybody to join you! The show just will not be the same without these women, and I won’t watch it without them. The show is very dark as it is. Take away JJ and Prentiss and it is going to be way too dismal and depressing!

      Thank you for joining me in the boycott and continuing to fight!

  14. I will boycott CBS with you guys however, I am going to watch her final two eps. I feel as a fan of AJ that I owe her that and to shove it in CBS’s face that the only reason I am watching is because of AJ and that when she is gone so am I. I get the impression from several posters online that they intend to either not watch at all or stop watching after her two eps air. If CBS doesn’t want to listen to us fine…they will however feel the wrath of their fans where it apparently hurts them the most; the ratings.

    Jenn way to go with the facebook page. I think it would be a good idea though to post the web address for the petition on the page so those who haven’t signed it can do so and spread the word to more fans because people are still just finding out about this. The Entertainment Weekly article that broke the news continues to get new posts daily from fans who are angered by all this. The article has nearly 1600 posts! Even though the decision is final fans need to continue to show they are still pissed at the decision and are united in their distate of CBS. The online petition has 49,860 signatures at the time I post this message…I think it is awesome people are still signing even though the decision is done.

  15. Well Glinda I watched the season premiere of Criminal Minds last night. It had 14 million viewers which while good was actually down 8% from last year’s premiere. The episode itself was like the finale…kind of boring and anticlimatic. However, AJ Cook was phenomenal.I have been a fan of hers for a long time and last night had to be one of ther best performances to date. She had this amazing scene where she spoke to the unsub over the radio to get him to release the girl and while the speech itself was a little corny AJ rocked it. In my opinion she stole the show! And many reviewers thought the same. I think Ed and the other writers did it on purpose to show CBS what amazing talent they tossed aside and how huge their mistake was. And it worked. To me CBS looks like even bigger fools for doing what they did. Next week is JJ’s sawng song and mine as a viewer. Fans though have taken to the internet voicing their hatred of CBS’s decision. The original article at that broke the story ( has nearly 1700 posts and the petition is getting more signatures. It has 50,395 signatures! Fans are upset and if they stick to their comments of not watching then CM will certainly have a viewership problem once Cook is gone.

    Surprisingly there was a large number of people who had no idea that AJ Cook was leaving and/or fired until they saw the promo for next week! Which once again has just revved up the angry mob of fans. The show for the first time ever trended on twitter last night. Someone was sooo excited it happened and thought it was actually b/c the episode was sooo good (which it wasn’t)however, after reading the actual tweets of those trending…all people were tweeting about were Cook’s departure, many for the first time and to praise Cook and Tim Curry for their performances.

    This will all eventually die down once the season moves on but CBS seriously looks like a bunch of sexist idiots who just ruined one of their best shows. And it literally was the best (ratings wise) show of the night. Call me a complete b*tch but I am going to seriously enjoy watching this train wreck. The cast doesn’t deserve it but CBS certainly does and that is all I really care about at this point…CBS falling on its arse.

  16. Thanks for stopping by and reporting what went on for us. True to my promise, I did not watch. I have not watched anything on CBS since I decided to boycott.

    Like you, I guess I am a complete b*tch as well, because I am really looking forward to seeing some instant karma in action over this one. I am still angry about this! Hope you’ll stop back and let us know how next week’s episode goes!


  18. Seriously, Glinda be happy you are not watching CM anymore…they have Garcia now doing JJ’s job which conspicuously the writers are actually for again. They haven’t that aspect of the show when AJ was around for quote sometime now but now that she is gone it has and looks like it will be in quite a few eps! wtf? Talk about overkill. Iknow they want to honor the character and show how hard and important her job was did they think maybe they should have done that when she was around? That perhaps if they did then maybe CS wouldn’t have thought her character so expendable? From what I heard from someone who did watch the last ep was that they mentioned like 20 times how much they missed her etc. Yeah we get it you miss her but stop constantly reminding fans she is gone. Especially the ones who are still pissed she is gone in the first place. At some point you have to move on…but it seems like the writers are going to milk this for as long as they can. Personally it makes me happy I am not watching anymore because there is honoring the character and then there is overkill. And no offense to anyone who likes Garcia but I honestly feel like the writers think Kirsten V is the greatest thing since sliced bread recently. I love her character but the act gets old to me quickly.

    that is the link for press release of the ep to which I refer above.

  19. After all that with Criminal minds, and canceling two and a half men, was the only things worth watching.
    I have canceled my cable, just nothing else I want to watch but movies and I am either downloading or renting
    IF watch over the air I am not watching CBS ever again.

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