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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 10:00pm time slot, airing immediately after the original Criminal Minds.
On May 14, 2017, CBS canceled the series after two seasons.
Garrett is a 20-year veteran agent with the FBI. Jack is the Unit Chief of the International Response Team (IRT). In his personal life, Garrett is married to Karen (Sherry Stringfield) and together have six children, including their oldest, a son named Ryan and their middle child, a daughter named Josie.
Seger is a smart, well-traveled, and multi-lingual cultural anthropologist and special agent with the IRT. Before rejoining the IRT in October 2015, Seger was married to a man named Brad who was a fellow agent and, like her, knew Jack. In 2013, she took a sabbatical from the FBI after her husband Brad died, during which she visited countries across the globe.
Simmons is a Special Operations agent and special agent with the IRT. Simmons is married to his wife Kristy (Kelly Frye) and has a total of four children, including two boys Jake and David and twin daughters, all of them under the age of three. He was a former member of a Special Ops unit, and his experience with the unit allowed him to hone his profiling skills.
Montgomery is a technical analyst with the IRT. He upholds a positive attitude, though he shows it in a different way. In addition to his job as a technical analyst, he liaises with the families of victims on the American homeland while the rest of his group is away.
Jarvis is a medical examiner and special agent with the IRT. Young and spunky, Mae has a fun-loving sibling relationship with Simmons and was in the FBI purely as a medical examiner before being brought onto the IRT as a resident medical examiner to bypass the bureaucratic red tape in various countries. By the events of the first season, Mae had become a fully qualified FBI field agent, in addition to being the IRT's resident ME.
Josie Garrett (Brittany Uomoleale), Josie is the middle daughter of Jack and Karen Garrett's six children.
Kristy Simmons (Kelly Frye), Kristy is the wife of Matthew Simmons and the mother of their four children, Jake and David Simmons and their two daughters.
Jake Simmons (Ezra Dewey), Jake is the son of Matthew and Kristy Simmons and the twin brother to David Simmons.
David Simmons (Declan Whaley), David is the son of Matthew and Kristy Simmons and the twin brother to Jake Simmons.
Ryan Garrett (Matt Cohen), Ryan is Jack's and Karen's oldest son who was accepted to and received training at the FBI Academy. He later became an undercover agent in Mexico, where he crossed paths with the IRT in the second season.
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.
Note: Each US network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.