Shemar Moore Is Officially Leaving ‘Criminal Minds’ After 11 Years

He'll be missed. Shemar Moore is officially leaving CBS' Criminal Minds after 11 years. Fans learned of the news during Wednesday night's episode when his character, Derek Morgan, decided to leave the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit to focus on his family.

As loyal viewers know, Morgan has been to hell and back within the past couple of episodes in season 11. He was abducted and nearly killed, but ultimately survived and married his girlfriend, Savannah, played by Rochelle Aytes.

Moore, 45, opened up about his shocking departure on Wednesday, stating that he wanted more "balance" in his life.

Shemar Moore on 'Criminal Minds'
Shemar Moore on 'Criminal Minds' Robert Voets/CBS

"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 Young and the Restless alum told TVLine.

"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," Moore added. "I'm leaving to see what else I’m capable of."

Shemar Moore
Shemar Moore Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Moore has starred in the drama since 2005. The series also features Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook and Joe Mantegna

"I just spent 11 years with a group of people, and it's a weird thing to walk away from," Moore told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I did it on my terms and in the right way."

Tell Us: Are you sad to see Moore go?

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!