Criminal Minds has been one of the most popular TV shows in history and has earned an overwhelming fan base worldwide. Its ratings have also been great with its major cast members is the main reason for its huge success. Thomas Gibson as Aaron Hotchner is one of them, who made a sudden departure from the series in August 2016. He starred in the show when it first premiered with Mandy Patinkin, among others, making him one of the biggest foundations of the CBS’ hit series. Since his exit, the show’s ratings significantly plummeted because of most fans’ protests.

Will the producers ever give Gibson a chance to return to the show?

When Thomas Gibson left “Criminal Minds” over an altercation with one of the showrunners, Virgil Williams, fans did not take it easy. They all started to protest, creating social media hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch and filed a petition in an attempt to get the actor back in the show. Most fans have boycotted the series since he departed, which was the start of the show’s declining ratings. According to TV Series Finale, the show’s 18 – 49 demographic ratings have crashed down by roughly 23 percent in season 12. Looking at the previous seasons’ ratings, it’s clear that Gibson’s termination is the primary cause of the show’s low ratings.

The entire season of “Criminal Minds” without Thomas Gibson has suffered tremendously poor ratings, and fans remain true to what they said that they will still boycott season 13 if Hotch doesn't return to the BAU. To this date, the producers ABC and CBS remain firm with their decision of writing Gibson off the show despite the increasing number of angry if not disappointed fans.

Instead, they tried to resolve this problem by having Matthew Grey Gubler’s Spencer Reid put into the spotlight. While it was one great season focusing on the genius doctor/profiler, the truth is, the producers failed to sort out the problem.

The show’s real problem

“Criminal Minds” season 13 has started its production this month.

We know this because of Kirsten Vangsness’ recent post on Twitter with some of the cast members of the show. Sure it made some fans, who are following the show excited with what the show has in the pipeline. However, the producers have done nothing to resolve the real issue in the series’ ratings declining – Thomas Gibson. Perhaps, they should take TV Buddy’s advice that fans are tired of the show’s cutting off characters and replacing them with new faces. Apparently, viewers watch the show because of the actors itself and not just because of the devastating killings that it delivers.

“Criminal Minds” season 13 is slated to air on Sept. 27, 2017, on CBS.