Why Did Morgan Leave Criminal Minds – 2023

Why Did Morgan Leave Criminal Minds

In television, character departures often evoke mixed emotions among loyal viewers. One departure that left fans saddened yet intrigued was the exit of Derek Morgan from the popular crime drama series Criminal Minds. Unlike other shocking exits on the show, Morgan’s departure remained devoid of behind-the-scenes drama.

Actor Shemar Moore, who portrayed the beloved character for eleven seasons, decided to bid farewell to his role. This article delves into the reasons behind Morgan’s departure, shedding light on the path that led Shemar Moore to seek new artistic endeavors.

Why Derek Morgan Actor Shemar Moore Left Criminal Minds

Why Morgan Actor left Criminal Minds was the actor’s doing. Derek Morgan had been part of the long-successful Criminal Minds formula from the show’s first episode (and is also the subject of Criminal Minds’ darkest fan theory). The character evolved from being relatively lighthearted in the early seasons to becoming more weathered as the years passed. He also overcame a traumatic childhood that included seeing his police officer father shot dead, and he went through some particularly hard times in season 11.

In “Derek,” the Shemar Moore-portrayed Criminal Minds character is captured and horrifically tortured, though he does manage to escape and kill his tormenters. Only two episodes later in Criminal Minds’ “A Lovely Disaster,” Morgan’s pregnant wife, Savannah, is shot.

After Morgan helps arrest the culprit and Savannah gives birth to their son Hank — named after Morgan’s late father — the different agent says goodbye to the team and quits the B.A.U. Unlike some other appalling Criminal Minds character exits, no behind-the-scenes drama was involved with why Morgan left Criminal Minds.

The Evolution of Derek Morgan:

During his tenure on Criminal Minds, Shemar Moore’s portrayal of F.B.I. Special Agent Derek Morgan captivated audiences worldwide. Morgan became a linchpin of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.) through his charisma, dedication, and unwavering loyalty. Throughout eleven seasons, Moore skillfully brought the multifaceted character to life, allowing fans to connect with Morgan on a deeply personal level.

The Desire for Growth:

After devoting an important portion of his career to Criminal Minds, Shemar Moore reached a point in his artistic journey where he felt the need to explore new horizons. Moore believed that he had thoroughly explored every aspect of Derek Morgan as a character and had successfully depicted his growth and development. With this realization, the actor aspired to challenge himself further and embrace fresh opportunities beyond the confines of the B.A.U.

Moore’s departure from “Criminal Minds” marked an important chapter in his vibrant career. By making the difficult choice to leave a role he had lived and breathed for over a decade, Moore demonstrated his commitment to growth as an actor. Through interviews and heartfelt messages to his fans, Moore expressed his gratitude for the incredible opportunity “Criminal Minds” had provided him while acknowledging that it was time to say goodbye to Morgan and explore new frontiers.

Unveiling New Projects:

Moore’s decision to leave Criminal Minds stemmed from a genuine desire to pursue other projects. Having spent over a decade under the shadow of Derek Morgan, Shemar Moore sought to demonstrate his range as an actor and explore new characters and narratives. By leaving the show, Moore aimed to seize the freedom to accept diverse film and television roles, expanding his artistic repertoire and proving his versatility.

One such project that Moore embarked upon after his departure from Criminal Minds was his role in the successful drama series S.W.A.T. This move portrayed his dedication to diversifying his acting portfolio while proving his ability to anchor a new show. Moore’s portrayal of Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson allowed him to demonstrate his versatility and captivate audiences once again.

Fond Farewells and Lasting Influence:

Despite the unexpected nature of Morgan’s departure, the character’s legacy within the Criminal Minds universe endures. The influence of Derek Morgan remains palpable within the show as his impact on the team and the fans lingers. Morgan left an indelible mark through his unwavering friendship with his colleagues, especially his connection with Penelope Garcia, portrayed by Kirsten Vangsness.

Moreover, Morgan’s departure prompted the writers to address the character’s absence respectfully and heartfeltly. It allowed compelling storylines to explore the aftermath of his departure, delving into the emotional toll it took on the team dynamics and the individual members.

A Fond Farewell:

Unlike some tempestuous character exits that have marred other television shows. Derek Morgan’s departure from “Criminal Minds” was a subdued affair. Shemar Moore, the actor who breathed life into the compassionate and skilled F.B.I. agent. Consciously decided to part ways with the series after dedicating eleven long seasons to his role.

Whispers of behind-the-scenes drama or contractual disputes were absent; instead, Moore envisioned the departure as a natural progression, evincing his desire to explore new horizons and diverse acting opportunities.

Unleashing Creative Freedom: Why Did Morgan Leave Criminal Minds

In deciding to leave “Criminal Minds,” Moore sought to reclaim his creative freedom. By engaging in different projects inside and outside the realm of crime dramas. The actor aimed to expand his repertoire and showcase his versatility.

This decision allowed Moore the opportunity to explore roles that would challenge him as an actor. And enable him to connect with audiences on a different wavelength. He made it clear that his departure from “Criminal Minds” was not a sign of dissatisfaction. But rather a newfound vigor to explore the vast tapestry of artistic possibilities.

The Everlasting Legacy:

While Derek Morgan’s time on “Criminal Minds” ended, the impact of the character. And the actor’s portrayal lingered in the hearts of devoted fans. Moore’s departure served as a poignant reminder of the indelible mark. He had left on the series and the enduring legacy of Derek Morgan.

The character’s unwavering dedication, heroic nature, and profound camaraderie continue to resonate. Reminding audiences of the exceptional storytelling that unfolded during Moore’s tenure on the show.


In television, character departures often polarize audiences, leaving them saddened and intrigued. In the case of Derek Morgan’s exit from Criminal Minds. However, the reasoning behind his departure was devoid of any drama, reflecting the professionalism of the actor, Shemar Moore.

Through his earnest desire for personal growth and exploration of new opportunities. Moore bid farewell to the beloved character he portrayed for over a decade. As Criminal Minds fans reflect on Morgan’s departure. They can appreciate the lasting impact he left behind and eagerly look forward to witnessing the continued success of both Shemar Moore and the show itself. Why Did Morgan Leave Criminal Minds

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