As of 2015, cast members of the CBS show "Criminal Minds" include Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Grubler, Thomas Gibson, Kristen Vangsness and A.J. Cook. Past cast members include Mandy Patinkin, Lola Glaudini, Paget Brewster, Meredeth Monroe and Jayne Atkinson.
"Criminal Minds" follows the Behavioral Analysis Unit, a special department of the FBI trained on criminal profiling, as they tackle various types of cases involving serial killers, kidnappers and arsonists, among other types of criminals. One of the key aspects of the show is the use of psychological analysis and criminal profiling, wherein the characters use statistical information gathered form past criminal cases to make educated assumptions about the personalities and motivations of the criminals they hunt.
Several cast members have left the program since its premiere in 2005, including Patinkin, who played Special Agent Jason Gideon. Patinkin left the series in 2007, stating that the serious and disturbing nature of the show caused him psychological damage, according to TVGuide.com. Many of the episodes covered issues such as rape and murder on a daily basis, which troubled Patinkin. Some former cast members have also returned to the show after leaving. In 2011, Cook returned to the show to reprise her role as Jennifer "J.J." Jareau.