Criminal Minds has been soaring high on the small screens since it originally premiered in September 2005. However, the show suffered backlash due to its cast shake-ups in recent years and fans were not too happy about it, especially when Thomas Gibson was fired in August 2016. His avid fans filed a petition in an attempt to get him back on the series and decided to quit watching the show. When Season 13 premiered, fans strengthened the massive #NoHotchNoWatch on Twitter. Fans suggest that their boycott intentionally catapulted the show’s ratings into jeopardy.

Season 13 ratings decline

TV Series Finale released the result of “Criminal Minds” Season 13 ratings when it premiered on September 27 and it can be said that many viewers have definitely dropped out.

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Compared to its previous seasons, the new installment’s premiere only garnered seven million viewers. Shemar Moore left the show in Season 11, while Gibson’s contract was terminated early in the 12th Season. Both seasons earned 10 million and roughly 9 million viewers respectively. Apparently, the departure of the two actors considerably affected the show’s ratings.

The boycott tightens

Gibson's avid fans have been claiming that their #NoHotchNoWatch campaign is the major reason why “Criminal Minds” ratings have declined since the actor was fired last year.

His loyal fans bolstered their campaign when Season 13 premiered. Most of them believe that the actor was treated unfairly despite the fact that he released a public apology. He explained that the altercation with one of the show’s writers stemmed from their “creative differences." The writer recently departed the show for another project and fans don’t understand why CBS won't give Gibson another chance.

‘Wheels Up’

“Criminal Minds” Season 13 debut title was “Wheels Up.” That made fans disappointed yet again, as the title itself was the famous catchphrase of Aaron Hotchner.

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They said that no one can ever take it away from him after 11 years of helping the show to be one of the most popular series’ of all time. The first episode touched on the former BAU Chief’s life. Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) said that Hotch is not coming back. He left BAU to enter WITSEC with his son Jack after the infamous serial killer Mr. Scratch started stalking them. However, it was revealed during the season premiere that they have left the Witness Protection Program and Hotch will enjoy his life being a full-time dad to Jack.

“Criminal Minds” airs on Wednesdays at 8 PM ET/PT on CBS.