Paget Brewster Returns from the Dead on CRIMINAL MINDS

Paget Brewster - Criminal Minds

CRIMINAL MINDS‘ Paget Brewster is in, while Rachel Nichols is out! I can feel the collective sigh of fans, as eyes roll in a “we told you so” moment. Brewster’s return coincides with the full-time return of A.J. Cook, who exited season 6 of the CBS drama after two episodes, but reappeared in a midseason and season finale episode. Brewster and Cook’s characters (Emily Prentiss and JJ Jareau, respectively) reportedly were written off the show due to creative differences and budget cutbacks.

Now according to, CBS and series’ producer ABC Studios are exercising the option to bring back Brewster, which was part of her modified deal with Criminal Minds last season. The deal entailed doing fewer episodes and the choice to do a pilot. But if the pilot didn’t go to series, producers would have the option of bringing Brewster back to Criminal Minds. So one unsuccessful comedy pilot later, fans and CBS get Brewster back, along with Cook.

This leaves Nichols as Ashley Seaver in an awkward position, since she essentially was hired to replace Cook. With no room left for her on Criminal Minds, Nichols ends up having to exit the show.

As for Criminal Minds‘ other co-stars, Thomas Gibson who plays Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner is the only one still in ongoing contract negotiations and doesn’t have a deal for next season yet.

Are you glad about this backpedaling? Or were you ready for a change?