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8 Shows That You Should Watch if You Like Criminal Minds

Get out the murder boards, it's time to find some unsubs!

Megan Vick

If you're in the mood for a crime binge, Criminal Minds is on your list. The procedural had a 15 year run at CBS and scared us to death on a weekly basis by taking us inside the insidious thinking of every kind of serial killer you could imagine. Criminal Minds focused on the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) that tracked down these killers every week using crime scene set-ups and victimology to create a personality profile for each unsub (unknown subject). 

Over the course of 15 seasons, members of the team came and went, but Criminal Minds was special because the central group always acted like a family, which brought some light and comfort to a series that dealt with discussing gruesome murder on a constant basis. Since the show premiered in 2005, it's gone on to be syndicated across multiple networks, making it nearly impossible to escape when you're channel-surfing before bed (though we highly discourage you from watching Criminal Minds before you go to sleep, unless you want to have nightmares of Jamie Kennedy as a cannibal or some other horror). 


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If you've completed Criminal Minds but need something new to scratch that serial killer-catching itch, TV Guide has compiled a list of shows that might help satisfy that urge. 

Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have recommendations for the best historical dramas on Netflix and best supernatural shows to watch right now.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

Where to watch: Hulu

Forest Whitaker, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

CBS/ABC Studios

If you've only watched Criminal Minds in reruns or on Netflix, you might have missed this short-lived spin-off which ran for one season on CBS in 2011. It stays in the same world as the flagship, but follows a different BAU team less inclined to play by the strict rules laid out by FBI bureaucracy. The cast is stacked, with Forest Whitaker as the lead, Richard Schiff as the FBI director, and a pre-House of Cards Michael Kelly as the team's wildcard agent. (Note: Suspect Behavior is one of two short-lived Criminal Minds spin-offs. There was also Beyond Borders starring Gary Sinise, which is not currently available to stream) 


Where to watch: Netflix

Jonathan Groff, Mindhunter

Courtesy of Netflix

If you fell in love with Criminal Minds because of the profiling aspect of the show, then you definitely need to hop over to Netflix to check out David Fincher's Mindhunter, which dramatizes the creation of the FBI unit known as the BAU. Jonathan Groff stars as Holden Ford, a young agent who specializes in hostage negotiations who finds himself drawn to figuring out what makes pathological "sequence killers" tick. He begins to interview incarcerated multiple murderers to start building a methodology for finding other killers who haven't been caught yet. It is a fascinating deep dive into how the profiling tips the team used on Criminal Minds were first developed. 


Where to watch: CBS All Access


Robert Voets/CBS

If a great team of crime-solvers is what you're after, especially one with a prodigy like Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), then check out Scorpion, which is streaming CBS All Access. The series follows a group of brilliant but socially awkward geniuses (basically a whole group of Reids!) who use their tech-savvy skills to help the Department of Homeland Security track down and stop imminent threats against the United States. It's a little like Criminal Minds and The Big Bang Theory had a baby, which sounds like it shouldn't work, but it actually really does. 


Where to watch: Hulu

Mads Mikkelson and Hugh Dancy, Hannibal

Brooke Palmer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

It's okay, you can admit it. The thing you actually love most about Criminal Minds are the unsubs themselves. If that's the case, you should join the passionate Hannibal fanbase. Bryan Fuller's series centered on famous cannibal character Hannibal Lecter makes eating people seem almost...romantic. The tension between Hannibal (Mads Mikkelson) and FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is as delicious as the meals Hannibal cooks up for his guests. Oh, did we just say that? Listen, you'll get it if you watch. 

Killing Eve

Where to watch: Hulu

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, Killing Eve

Robert Viglasky/BBCAmerica

Hey, ladies can be serial killers and have extremely intense relationships with the federal agents trying to track them down, too! Welcome to Killing Eve, based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings and brought to life on TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Sandra Oh is brilliant as MI5 agent Eve Polastri, whose curiosity and intuition puts her on the trail of one of the most deadly assassins in the game -- Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The cat and mouse game that ensues between these two is so smart and thrilling, and leads to twists that will leave you a bit out of breath. 


Where to watch: Showtime

Claire Danes, Homeland

Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

The BAU team loved to put together a good murder board when solving cases, and if that chaotic-good energy excited you, then Homeland is going to have you jumping for joy. The lengths CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) went through to prove the sometimes far-fetched theories she came up with were anxiety-inducing, but when her intuition paid off it felt like the best episodes of Criminal Minds when the unsub was caught at the last possible second.


Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, CBS All Access, Sling TV

Wilmer Valderrama, NCIS

Eddy Chen, CBS

Perhaps you don't like the lone wolf hunt, though, and we get that. That's why there's NCIS, another long-running CBS crime procedural, but this time centered on a military group of crime solvers. Unlike many of the other choices on this list, NCIS also gives you the comfort of knowing the target is most likely going to be apprehended at the end of the episode. That means you can skip around and find the era of the show you really love.


Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, Starz, Sling TV

Idris Elba, Luther

Des Willie/BBCAmerica

Luther is the Criminal Minds replacement show you should watch if you like a long hunt for a suspect and you enjoy a sexy detective leading the charge. You can enjoy multiple seasons of Idris Elba getting his hands dirty as the eponymous sleuth on a variety of different streaming services. Did we mention Elba also uses his native British accent in the series? It's like the universe is begging you to watch this gritty BBC drama, and who are you to refuse?

Criminal Minds Seasons 1-12 are available on Netflix. Season 15 is available on CBS All Access.