News from early December 2022, including an update on "Pennyworth" on Showcase, and CBC's winter programming plans.
Criminal Minds: Evolution, a continuation of the procedural crime drama Criminal Minds which ran from 2005 to 2020 on CBS (and on CTV in Canada), is premiering on Thursday, November 24, 2022, in the United States on the Paramount+ streaming service. The revival series stars several returning cast members from the original run, including Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, and A.J. Cook.
Although a version of Paramount+ is available in Canada, Criminal Minds: Evolution will not be available there. Instead, the ten-episode season will be available in Canada on the Disney+ streaming service, where it is currently listed as season 16 of the original series. We currently expect that new episodes will be released on Fridays from November 25 to December 16, 2022, and from January 12 to February 9, 2023. Note that this means episodes will premiere in Canada one day after their U.S. debuts.
Disney+ is already the Canadian streaming home to the entire original series, as well as previous spin-offs Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011) and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2016–17).
The first episode only will also air on Thursday, November 24 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on the CBS broadcast network, which is available on most Canadian TV service providers, as a special preview / promotion for the series.
As of this writing in November 2022, a subscription to Disney+ costs $11.99 per month, or $119.99 per year (when billed annually), in Canada (both prices are before applicable sales taxes).
How did Disney end up with the Canadian rights to these series?
From the beginning, Criminal Minds was jointly produced by two of the major Hollywood TV studios: Touchstone Television – a studio owned by The Walt Disney Company now known as ABC Signature – and Paramount Network Television – which is now part of CBS Studios, but ultimately owned by the current larger Paramount Global, the former ViacomCBS. The Mark Gordon Company (now owned by Entertainment One) was also a production partner.
It's our understanding that, as part of the co-production, the two studios divided the global distribution rights to the series. Paramount / CBS held onto the domestic (United States) syndication rights, which makes sense considering the U.S. broadcast on the CBS network, while Disney would distribute the series internationally.
While still relatively rare, this sort of arrangement is not unheard of, sometimes as a means to manage risks as the costs of TV production rise.
This co-production arrangement has continued through all of the series' spin-offs and continuations, including Evolution. So it's not surprising then, given the other series' relatively recent arrivals on Disney+ in Canada and other international markets, that Criminal Minds: Evolution would likewise stream on Disney+ in Canada.
Will Criminal Minds: Evolution be available on regular TV in Canada?
With the exception of the preview episode airing on CBS noted above, it's unlikely that the series will be available on a regular linear TV channel available in Canada.
Paramount could, of course, decide to air additional episodes on the CBS network at a later date. But given that few other Paramount+ originals have gotten similar full runs on CBS or another U.S. linear TV channel, this is unlikely. (The only one we're aware of is the first season of The Good Fight, which re-aired on CBS in the summer of 2019, more than two years after its streaming premiere.)
Likewise, Disney has thus far been reluctant to re-air its original streaming series on its channels, or otherwise allow other companies to air those shows – except, again, as special previews (the first two episodes of Disney+'s Star Wars series Andor, but only those two episodes, have aired on ABC).