*After an 11-year run, Shemar Moore has decided to move on from his CBS drama “Criminal Minds.”
Wednesday’s episode was the actor’s last. His character Derek Morgan opted to focus on his new, pregnant wife Savannah (Rochelle Aytes) after she was nearly shot during one of his cases. It was too close for comfort for Derek, who decides to leave the BAU and focus on what is important.
Life imitates art for Moore, who said his decision to leave the show is rooted in wanting 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,” Moore told TVLine.com.
“To use a sports analogy, I left it all on the field,” Moore said. “There is nothing, especially after this Wednesday night, I can do to top it.”
Below, Moore bids farewell to the show’s fans:
Moore wrapped up his time on Criminal Minds more than a month ago and has spent the weeks since rewatching some of the drama’s recent Derek-heavy episodes and appreciating the final scenes he filmed with longtime co-stars Thomas Gibson (Aaron), Joe Mantegna (David) and Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope), the latter of whom co-wrote Wednesday’s episode alongside showrunner Erica Messer.
“When we started, there were 102 cop shows, … and I questioned why they needed 103, but what we found out was that Criminal Minds was a different type of show,” he says of his initial skepticism. “We were the little train that could. There were so many doubters, and 11 years and 251 episodes later, I’m very proud. It’s nice to exhale now. I feel really at peace with the fact that I left it all out on the field.”