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Shemar Moore says goodbye to ‘Criminal Minds,’ what’s next?

Photo credit: CBS

Photo credit: CBS

Shemar Moore is leaving the CBS show that made him a household name. After 11 seasons, Moore, who played the headstrong FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan on “Criminal Minds,” made his final appearance on Wednesday’s episode. The drama addressed his exit by having his character leave the bureau to focus on his family.

Television writer and producer Erica Messer posted a statement addressing Moore’s departure, writing, “All of us at ‘Criminal Minds’ are sad to say ‘see you later’ to Agent Derek Morgan. Even sadder that our friend Shemar Moore isn’t on set anymore. It was definitely a surprise that he wanted ‘To leap,’ as Moore said, ‘to try new things.’ For those reasons, we have nothing but love and respect for him and his choice. But it doesn’t mean we can’t also be really, really sad.”

Meanwhile, Moore said goodbye to fans in a video posted to late Wednesday, March 24. “To my homies, to my fans, to my baby girls: Cry if you have to, scream and yell if you have to, smile, smile, laugh, celebrate,” Moore says in the video. “This is not goodbye; this is goodbye to this part of a dream, this chapter. I’m not going anywhere. You guys haven’t gone anywhere. Without you, my dream is not possible. I can dream all day everyday, but I can’ t make it work unless you support me, unless you root for me, unless you watch me and you believe in me. … With whatever success I may have, it means nothing unless I inspire others. So whoever you are, I’m just like you.

“I‘ve had a ball. So this party might be ending with me in it, but I promise you, I’ma throw another party and invite all of you.”

And while Moore’s presence will truly be missed, Messer provided an epic teaser of Paget Brewster’s return as Agent Emily Prentiss in next week’s episode, as well as new villains and one fans may remember in an effort to boost viewers’ spirits.

“As you’ve seen since the beginning, the BAU doesn’t just survive change, they thrive in it,” Messer writes. “After they stop to mourn the loss of what was, they adapt. This is what makes our heroes relatable — they have to shift and settle in to what becomes their new normal, just like the rest of us when we’re faced with unexpected changes. … The BAU knows the bad guys outnumber the good so when one of them leaves, they have no choice but to keep going. Even though they’re finishing the season an agent down, they’ll keep up the fight because the BAU wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Up next, Moore tells TVLine that he wants to “walk my dogs, travel, get married, have kids. I want balance, and it’s hard to do with the schedule that we have.”

“It’s a weird experience,” Moore told The Hollywood Reporter of his departure. “I just spent 11 years with a group of people and it’s a weird thing to walk away from — but I did it on my terms and in the right way.”