Damon Gupton made his debut during the last 30 seconds of "Criminal Minds" on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. It was the midseason finale, but viewers won't have to wait long to seep Special Agent Stephen Walker in action because the police procedural crime drama television series returns on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

Special Agent Stephen Walker

Special Agent Stephen Walker joins the Behavioral Analytics Unit (BAU) at the request of Emily Prentiss, who is now in charge of the team as the Supervisory Special Agent and Unit Chief.

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She is familar with Walker's work in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Program where he worked as a profiler. He will be a welcomed addition to the BAU to help the team profile and solve many upcoming cases.

Thomas Gibson's replacement

Even though Agent Walker joined the team, he had a very small part in the midseason finale. He only made a cameo appearance and was introduced at the end of the episode.

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He is replacing Thomas Gibson who was fired at the beginning of the season after he reportedly kicked a writer. Even though Gupton is replacing Gibson, he is not replacing Gibson's character as head of the BAU. Emily Prentiss was promoted to the position that was held by Aaron Hotchner.

The 43-year-old actor comes to the show with proven credentials. He was a co-star on "Deadline," "Prime Suspect," "The Player," and "Bates Motel." He recently had a role in the legal drama "Goliath" with Billy Bob Thornton.

Shemar Moore's replacement

Shemar Moore also left "Criminal Minds" last season after being with the series since it debuted in 2005. The 46-year-old actor had a main role as Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan. Adam Rodriguez replaced Moore as Luke Alvez. The 41-year-old is currently portraying a Fugitive Task Force Agent who came to the BAU during Season 12.

Ratings went down after Shemar Moore left, and even further after Thomas Gibson left.

Executives are hoping Rodriguez and Gupton will bring new viewers to the series. "Criminal Minds" returns to CBS on Wednesday nights in January.

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