Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders is an American police procedural television series created by Erica Messer that aired on CBS from March 16, 2016, to May 17, 2017. The show is produced by The Mark Gordon Company in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Studios. The production is a spin-off from original series, Criminal Minds, airing on the same network, and is the third series in the Criminal Minds franchise. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders follows an elite team of FBI agents of the fictional International Response Team (IRT) tasked with solving cases that involve American citizens on international soil.
CBS aired a backdoor pilot on an episode of Criminal Minds on April 8, 2015, introducing the characters with a crossover episode eponymously titled "Beyond Borders". The series was originally intended to premiere on March 2, 2016, but was pushed back by two weeks and instead premiered on March 16, 2016, and filled the Wednesday 10:00 p.m. time slot, airing immediately after the original Criminal Minds.
On May 14, 2017, CBS canceled the series after two seasons.
In total 26 episodes of Beyond Borders have aired, in addition to the pilot episode, "Beyond Borders".
A proposed new series in the Criminal Minds franchise was announced in January 2015, and was to be named Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Former CSI: NY star Gary Sinise and Anna Gunn had been cast in the lead roles of Jack Garrett and Lily Lambert, with Tyler James Williams and Daniel Henney being cast as Russ "Monty" Montgomery and Matthew "Matt" Simmons, respectively.
On May 8, 2015, CBS announced that Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders had been picked up for the 2015–16 season; however, it was soon announced that Gunn had departed the series, with Alana de la Garza and Annie Funke further being cast as series regulars.
The first season of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders received generally unfavorable reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a 20% of approval with an average rating of 3.5/10, based on 15 reviews, with the critical consensus reading, "Beyond Borders relies on the same characters and storylines the franchise has used for years, with an extra undertow of xenophobic paranoia." On Metacritic, the season was given a score of 28 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The series has received criticism from both viewers and critics for its "inaccurate" depictions of the countries the episodes are set in. In its review of the show, pop culture news website The A.V. Club labeled the series as "bland" and "xenophobic". In a more scathing commentary, Slate and USA Today have opined that the show was "jingoistic", especially due to the then-current context of Donald Trump's allegedly xenophobic 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric. Following the airing of the episode "Cinderella and the Dragon", which was set in Singapore, the network received significant backlash from locals regarding the "misleading" representations of Singapore and Singaporeans, with local Internet celebrity blogger mrbrown and the Singapore Tourism Board posting up their own satirical responses.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.
The series premiered in Australia on the Seven Network in April 2016. In Canada, the series airs simultaneously with the U.S. on CTV. The series also airs same day as the U.S. in Asia on AXN. On April 20, 2016, the series premiered on W in the United Kingdom and Ireland. On July 11, 2016, the series premiered on TV One in New Zealand.
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