Television fans were given quite a surprise during last night's episode of Criminal Minds, when it was revealed that longtime star Shemar Moore (ex-Malcolm Winters, The Young and the Restless) is exiting the show after 11 years.
Wednesday night's episode of the CBS series ended with Moore's character, Derek Morgan, leaving the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit to focus on his family. Funny enough, that's what prompted the former daytime hunk to leave the show, as well.
"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," he told TV Line, adding that he contemplated leaving last year but stayed on for storyline reasons. "I want balance, and it's hard to do with the schedule that we have."
Additionally, he says he wants to spread his wings as a performer. "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 shares. "I'm leaving to see what else I'm capable of."
Prior to finding Criminal Minds fame in 2005, the California native portrayed Neil's (Kristoff St. John) brother, Malcolm, on Y&R from 1994 to 2004. He returned to Genoa City for a short story arc back in September 2014 to help boost a story in which Neil went blind and began spiraling out of control.
"The Young and the Restless gave me confidence and told me that I had a right to be here [in Hollywood]," Moore told the Hollywood Reporter. "I got popular there, but I wanted credibility and to prove that I could act. What Criminal Minds did was help people see that I could handle drama -- and keep my shirt on -- and tell stories. Criminal Minds was college, and now I'm ready for grad school and the next step."
Some of Moore's other credits include Birds of Prey, Malcolm & Eddie, Chicago Hope, and The Jamie Foxx Show.
For more details on why Moore opted out of Criminal Minds, be sure to watch his March 24 appearance on CBS's The Talk, which will also be announcing this year's official Emmy nominees live at 2:00PM ET/1:00PM PT.
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