Here are the key filming locations for the hit procedural series Criminal Minds. The 2000s was something of a golden age for procedurals that offered unique hooks, such as CSI’s focus on science and tech. Criminal Minds debuted on CBS in 2005 and followed the BAU, a unit comprised of an elite team of FBI profilers. It was their job to profile and chase down any number of serial killers, with the show being unafraid to dive into some troubling subject matter.
Helping to balance out Criminal Minds‘ more disturbing storylines and killers was the ensemble cast. Fronted by actors like Kirsten Vangsness’ Garcia – who was only meant to appear in one episode – Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler (who briefly wore glasses), the interplay between the core cast also made for entertaining viewing. Criminal Minds also produced spin-offs with Suspect Behavior and Beyond Borders, but despite being launched with great fanfare, the latter shows proved short-lived.
Criminal Minds itself ran for a healthy 15 series, before ending in 2020. The BAU didn’t get to rest for long, as a ten-episode revival series is being produced for Paramount+, and will likely arrive in 2023. While the format of Criminal Minds could see the BAU travel all around the country for individual cases, they are based in Quantico, Virginia. Despite hopping all around the U.S., the bulk of Criminal Minds was really filmed in California.
Criminal Minds Was Mostly Shot In California
According to The Cinemaholic, a lot of Criminal Minds – which has several key cast returning for season 16 – was shot at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood. Quixote has also housed productions like The Purge, Ray Donovan and – fittingly – Californication. Most of the offices for the main characters were built in Quixote, but outside of the BAU headquarters, Criminal Minds shot all over the state. It filmed a lot in Glendale, using locations such as the Glendale City Hall, which was split into settings like a courthouse or a hospital. The Glendale Police Department was also used as, well, a police station.
Other notable Criminal Minds filming locations used over the show’s run include Santa Clarita and Altadena, which was used to double for Missouri in season 9’s “The Caller.” Criminal Minds season 8 outing “The Fallen” featured sequences set in Vietnam, which were actually shot in Los Angeles at Palos Verdes Peninsula. While locations around California are where the bulk of the series filmed, it also moved to Vancouver, Canada for episodes like the season 1 pilot “Extreme Aggressor.” Given that California is the spiritual home for Criminal Minds, the revival will likely also be shot there.
Next: Everything We Know About The Criminal Minds Reboot