Shemar Moore retires from 'Criminal Minds' after 11 seasons

It's been 11 seasons for Shemar Moore's character, Derek Morgan, on Criminal Minds, but it is sadly time to say farewell.

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It’s been 11 seasons for Shemar Moore’s character, Derek Morgan, on Criminal Minds, but it is sadly time to say farewell.

During Wednesday’s episode, “A Beautiful Disaster,” the character Morgan survived a kidnapping and announced his decision to leave the BAU in order to focus on his family life.

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The decision to retire from the show came when Moore decided that he wanted “to leap” and “to try new things.”

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In a letter to fans, Criminal Minds’ executive producer Erica Messer penned a tribute to Moore, saying, “As you’ve seen since the beginning, the BAU doesn’t just survive change, they thrive in it. After they stop to mourn the loss of what was, they adapt. This is what makes our heroes relatable—they have to shift and settle in to what becomes their new normal, just like the rest of us when we’re faced with unexpected changes. And sometimes good things happen, too.”

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“On behalf of the cast and crew, thank you for cheering us on every week. We’re so privileged to entertain you through stories about these elite heroes. The BAU knows the bad guys outnumber the good so when one of them leaves, they have no choice but to keep going. Even though they’re finishing the season an agent down, they’ll keep up the fight because the BAU wouldn’t have it any other way.”