Shemar Moore Exits Criminal Minds After 11 Seasons

So sad, BAU will be down with an agent. Handsome dude, Shemar Moore who played the headstrong FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan on all 11 seasons of Criminal Minds, is leaving the CBS drama.

According to reports, Wednesday, March 30, episode represented his final appearance.

Moore is hanging up his jacket as FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan to spend more time on his personal life, he says.

“I need balance in my life,” Moore told TVLine. “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.”

The drama addressed his departure by having his character leave the bureau to focus on his family.

Criminal Minds’ 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 Shemar 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.”

Moore said goodbye to fans in a video posted to CBS.com late Wednesday. “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.”

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

So after 11 years as FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan, what’s next for Moore? He said, “I didn’t direct, I didn’t write, but I grew, and I’m leaving because I want to continue to grow as an actor,” says Moore. “I’m leaving to see what else I’m capable of.”

Moore began his career at CBS by playing Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless. He later left to join Criminal Minds.