‘Criminal Minds’ Star Joe Mantegna Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look at Episode He’s Directing

by Caitlin Berard

After fifteen long years, the series finale of Criminal Minds aired on February 19, 2020, leaving its dedicated fans bereft of their favorite show. It seems their demands for a return of the series were heard, however, as just one year later, a 10-episode revival was announced for the streaming service Paramount Plus.

It’s been 18 excruciating months but the cast and crew of Criminal Minds are finally back on set, hard at work filming the upcoming episodes. And to ease fans’ impatience (while simultaneously stoking the flames of anticipation surrounding the return), production updates have been numerous.

The latest update comes from Senior Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi himself, known in the real world as Joe Mantegna.

In a video posted to his Instagram account, Mantegna shared his excitement for the series’ return, as well as his own contributions as both actor and director. “Day one directing my 10th episode of Criminal Minds,” Mantegna wrote in the caption. “You won’t be disappointed!”

“Okay, day one of my tenth episode of Criminal Minds that I’ll be directing. I got my lucky little Dave here to help me,” Mantegna explained, brandishing a miniature plush version of himself. “A fan sent it to me years ago. I have my lucky actress AJ Cook in the background there. And my lucky script supervisor, Pam.”

“What could be better?!” the actor added with a grin and a double thumbs up. “Onward!”

Joe Mantegna Credits Fans for ‘Criminal Minds’ Revival

Criminal Minds fans aren’t shy about patting themselves on the back when the moment calls for it. When the series returned to Netflix after mere weeks of its disappearance from the platform, for instance, it was high fives all around among the Criminal Minds fandom.

Many such comments are made in a joking manner, but Joe Mantegna isn’t so sure they’re undeserved. On the contrary, he’s fairly certain that it was the fans’ enduring passion for the series that led to the not-so-long-awaited revival.

“We’re back filming. We just started last Tuesday,” the Criminal Minds star said in an interview with WGN Radio. “We’re back up. We’re going to be on Paramount+, so we just started season 16 after a two-year hiatus. And we’re all thrilled to be back. And it’s a good group, a great group.”

“I’ve been there for 13 seasons, and I’m glad to be back, and we look forward to new episodes out there,” he continued. “And our fanbase is so wonderful all over the world. I think that’s what helped bring us back.”