A.J. Cook’s time on the popular CBS crime drama CRIMINAL MINDS has come to an end after the show’s producers decided not to pick up her contract according to Michael Ausiello. The show’s sixth season begins this fall and Cook will not be returning.

In not picking up her contract option for the sixth season, producers of the show have essentially fired Cook. The network explained that Cook’s contract was not picked up due to financial reasons.

Cook had been on Criminal Minds since the first episode in 2005, joining the cast after the pilot. Fellow female cast member Paget Brewster, who joined in season 2, has been offered an altered contract that would see her remain as a main character but she would have a reduced number of episodes.

Deadline.com just provided an update to the story which states that the changes in cast were not a financial decision, but a creative one. It seems that CBS is trying the “refresh” Criminal Minds and will do so by bringing some new blood in the form of a new female cast member who will fill Cook’s void.

It will be interesting to find out what the fans’ reaction to this change will be. So what do you say? Are you sad to see A.J. Cook leave? Are you looking forward to a new female character being added to the team? Any suggestions as to whom should play her? Share your thoughts in the comments below.