‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ First Look: Rossi, JJ & Luke Are on the Case (PHOTO)

Joe Mantegna, Adam Rodriguez, and A.J. Cook in 'Criminal Minds: Evolution'
Michael Yarish/Paramount+

Criminal Minds, the popular procedural that originally ran from 2005 to 2020, was never shy about showing the darker side of the many cases the Behavioral Analysis Unit team worked on — and those storylines will be even more unsettling when revival Criminal Minds: Evolution premieres its first two episodes on Thanksgiving, November 24, on Paramount+.

“I’ve always been a defender of the fact that our show gave that realistic aspect to what these real men and women do,” says Joe Mantegna (above left, with Adam Rodriguez and A.J. Cook). “If you think you were disturbed before, we may be taking it to another level.”

Showrunner Erica Messer also promises the revival will let fans in on what the characters have been up to, teasing, “These past few years have made [them] count on one another a lot more.”

And it sounds like Rossi (Mantegna) will need to lean on the others more than ever before, with the first two episodes putting him “in a new light,” according to Messer. “When somebody like that, the core of the team, is not in a good way, there’s a ripple effect throughout every relationship he has. We wanted to honor this journey of grief that a lot of people have been through, certainly since we’ve last seen them, and we put that burden onto Rossi’s shoulders, and Joe beyond delivers an emotional roller coaster with Rossi.” Because of that, the others are “worried and suffering with him and for him.”

Criminal Minds: Evolution, Premiere, Thursday, November 24, Paramount+