It has been an amazing eleven seasons, but Shemar Moore is officially leaving Criminal Minds, a stalwart for CBS. The news came as a shock to fans, who learned of it during Wednesday night's episode. His character, Derek Morgan, decided that it was time to leave the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit so that he could focus on his family.
Morgan had gone through a lot in the last couple of seasons, especially these last few episodes. He was abducted and nearly killed this season, but was able to survive and got married to his girlfriend, Savannah, who is played by Rochelle Aytes, who will also be written off the show.
Moore, 45, opened up about his shocking departure on Wednesday, stating that he too wanted to have a more "balance" in his life.
"I love what I do for a living, I love it from 'action' to 'cut', but I also want to walk my dogs, travel, get married, have kids. I want balance, and it’s hard to do with the schedule that we have," the Young and the Restless alum said in the interview.
"I didn't direct, I didn't write, but I grew, and I'm leaving because I want to continue to grow as an actor," Moore added. "I'm leaving to see what else I’m capable of."
Having been on the drama since 2005, he has grown and flourished as an actor onscreen alongside co-stars Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook and Joe Mantegna
"I just spent 11 years with a group of people, and it's a weird thing to walk away from," Moore told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I did it on my terms and in the right way."
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Fans should feel thankful that there is, of course, a way for him to come back if he finds that the outside world isn't as fun as he thought it would be.