CBS and Criminal Minds producer ABC Studios made their final offers to longtime cast members Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook. In the wake of this last-ditch offer for a ninth season of the hit CBS procedural, only Gibson and Mantegna are close to signing on the dotted line, according to Deadline.
Moore is reportedly still in negotiations, a process which is apparently being complicated by the two sides’ disagreement over salary. Meanwhile, Vangsness and Cook are said to have rejected the latest offer outright. The actresses are negotiating together, seeking pay parity with their male co-stars, after years of making less than half the salary of the male series regulars. Neither Matthew Gray Gubler nor Jeanne Tripplehorn are up for contract renewals this spring, but in a few hours, there’s a good chance none of that will matter.
All cast negotiations need to wrap up by the end of the day today (Tuesday, May 7) before the network will commit to a ninth season for the series. The network is keen on renewing the series, and has delayed a formal announcement of renewal, as it remains contingent upon the involvement of the principal cast. Last week, showrunner Erica Messer signed a new two-year deal with ABC Studios which will ensure her position with the series. Messer recently told TVLine that she would “be shocked if we didn’t come back”, even if only five actors in the principal cast were to return for season 9. Regardless, the clock is ticking as negotiations come down to the wire.