Exclusive

Exclusive: Criminal Minds' Paget Brewster Gets Experimental for NBC

Paget Brewster has firmed up her post-Criminal Minds career plans: The fan fave has signed to play the female lead in NBC’s comedy pilot My Life as an Experiment.

Produced by Jack Black, Experiment chronicles the adventures of gonzo magazine journalist A.J. Wilder (comedian Jon Dore) and how his unique profession impacts his home life. Brewster will play Stacie, A.J.’s feisty lawyer wife.

The potential series is based on the best-selling book by journalist/author A.J. Jacobs, Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life As An Experiment.

Ironically, the news comes on the eve of Brewster’s Minds‘ swan song; her final episode is set to air on Wednesday. Should Experiment not earn a series order, the actress has a cushy Plan B to fall back on: Minds‘ producers have invited her to return next season as a full-fledged series regular. 

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86 Comments
  1. Amber says:

    It will be nice to see her do comedy again. I know it was a brief stint, and a long time ago, but I really enjoyed her on Friends.

    • Nancy says:

      I’ve never seen Paget do a comedy series, did not see her on Friends either. It will seem funny to see her in this role, since she’s been a fantastic BAU team member for a long time! I wish her luck, but do hope to see her back on CM.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I had forgotten that she was on Friends! Wow! Ok….well I wish her luck with whatever her future holds. Either way I’m glad she will still be on TV.

    • Amy says:

      cant agree more! even though my love for Paget starts with Emily in CM, it is happy to see her on TV, whatever who and how she performs.

  3. MattW says:

    Stick with a sure thing Paget. You’ve got talent to spare but your track record outside of Criminal Minds isn’t that great. If your pilot goes to series and it bombs will the door still be open at Minds? I’m sure you’re still just a little ticked at the show for attempting to downsize your role but I’d hold on for as long as it lasted and then I’d go new show shopping.

    • Alicia says:

      At the risk of sounding like a selfish viewer, I agree and really wish she’d just stay with CM. However, it wasn’t merely a “downsized role,” it was a reduced episode order with her contract expiring at the end of the season, i.e. a firing. They were getting rid of her permanently until the backlash hit, then they opened the door to renegotiating. I just hope IF her next venture is unsuccessful that she can and does return to CM.

    • Blue Sunflower says:

      I agree. CBS screwed her, not the show. She still works with people she adores and who adore her back. Her working environment seems great, and she’s guaranteed at least one more year of salary – if not more, should CM go more than 7 seasons. “My Life as an Experiment” however, doesn’t have nearly that much stability, plus it’s people she doesn’t know. It’s entirely possible if the pilot does get picked up, it’ll end up doing poorly and canceled after only a few episodes. That’ll just put her back even more.

      I personally think the best thing for her is to stay where she is. Fame is fickle, and second (and third) chances are very rare. She’s got a good job, a stable salary, and a great working environment.

    • SSA_Prentiss says:

      I do wish her well in whatever she endeavors to do….but I think if it were me I’d go with the sure thing at this point. But that’s just how I am. I need to have some sort of stability in my life and that means a steady paycheck. lol

  4. Cindy P says:

    Although I am sad at the possibility of Prentiss leaving CM, I cannot blame Paget for: first, wanting to spread her acting wings and second, but not least, putting CBS on the back burner. Regardless of them willing to have her back full-time next season, they still treated her (and AJ Cook) with unceremoniously…shame on them. Best of luck to her :O)

  5. Diana says:

    In one hand: I’m gonna miss Emily Prentiss so much! Her story is gonna stand on a cliffhanger and now that Paget has a new show, it will stay like that forever. Emily’s storyline will be unfinished.
    On the other hand: I’m gonna like to see Paget back to comedy. She’s very funny, but she almost never show that side on Criminal Minds.
    I don’t know if I want her pilot to get picked-up or not. My head is very confuse right now.
    I hope she’s happy!

  6. Linn says:

    I love her too much on Criminal Minds – do not want! I don’t want people to be out of work, but I love the current gang on CM.

  7. Amy says:

    Good for you Paget!! Good luck with the new show and I’d still love to see you come back to CM!!

    • Amy says:

      Also, do we know if Thomas G and Shemar M have signed their contracts? I’d heard there was some speculation of them departing? This was rumor several months ago.

  8. Chatty says:

    What? Now the folks over at Criminal Minds are inviting her to come back next season as if nothing had happened? That is whacked! I am glad that she has a new show and I hope it works out. Still, it feels a little cruel for CM to play her (and us fans) like that.

  9. KDW says:

    Well, I guess odds are pretty good that she’s not going to die in next week’s episode then, huh? She was pretty funny on the Andy Richter show, too. I think I actually like her a little better in comedy.

  10. Gaby says:

    Sad she won’t be back on CM, (Emily Prentiss is such a great character!), but I am very excited to see her back on a Comedy.

    Paget is fantastic, and I will definitely watch anything she is on!

  11. Chris says:

    I’ve loved Paget since Friends. I think it would be cool to see her in something new, but I do hope that if this pilot doesn’t work out, we’ll get to see her on Criminal Minds again, because I like Emily Prentiss. I have no intentions of watching CM without her, but I’ll be back next season if she is.

    • Gaby says:

      I agree, I won’t watch CM without her, the show is just not as interesting to me without Emily.

      Paget is too talented to be 3rd lead on a show that the critics ignore though, time for her to shine again on a comedy!

      (Though if this doesn’t go anywhere and she heads back to CM, I am totally on board! :) )

  12. Lynn says:

    Don’t quit your day job Paget!

  13. CM says:

    I won’t put my money on a 7th season of Criminal Minds. In this season they lost AJ, Paget, some writers, some crew members, producers, executive producer, Thomas and Shemar are in contract negotiations… Things aren’t loking very bright on Criminal Minds’ side. I’d rather have it canceled in the end of this season, then have them screw up season 7 and get canceled the middle.

    • AP says:

      There is no logical reason why CriMi will not be picked up for season seven. The ratings are still good, even against though competition. I also highly doubt CBS would allow any other cast members to go without a fight, they can’t afford to lose more members of the cast within a single season.

    • Anna says:

      I’ve seen at least one report that claims that negotiations are not going smoothly.

    • Jill says:

      The CM cast is very tight-knit, and I have a feeling the guys (and Kirsten Vangsness) weren’t particularly pleased with the way AJ Cook and Paget Brewster were treated. I wouldn’t be surprised if negotiations with Shemar and Thomas are difficult, though I do hope they can work something out because I really do love this show, even with all the issues this season.

      • Javacat says:

        Good for the cast for sticking together. I hope they are able to keep together as a bloc.

        EW should re-run that brilliant piece of reportage and analysis they did about how the Friends cast bloc negotiations were seen as an affront to the producers, and how producers now make it their goal to do Something (like, oh, fire AJ Cook) to scare the other actors into NOT sticking together. (Ah the good old days, when EW was the New Yorker of entertainment, and not working its way towards Us Weekly.)

        I had never even heard of this show until about 6 months ago, when the neighbor I bicycle with told me about it. I *love* the show. Hooray for all the reruns, so I can catch up.

  14. John says:

    It will get another season. In fact CBS should have cash to spare now that they don’t have to pay Sheen anymore.

  15. Dennis says:

    I hope Paget’s new show is a hit and I hope CBS looses some more of the Criminal Minds actors to contact disputes. They have screwed with the show this year and deserve to take a loss.

  16. Mikaylah says:

    I wish Paget all the best, but I would REALLY like to see her back on Criminal Minds.

  17. Renee says:

    I hope her new show is a huge hit and she gives CM the finger. They tried to screw her over and if she lands on her feet and they don’t…good. You don’t treat good workers the way they did.

    • Carla says:

      Renee, I couldn’t agree more! CBS totally screwed with her and AJ, then a little too late, they tried to come back and offer Paget a series regular contract. They never valued the work that she and AJ did on the show, as well as the work of writers that they fired at the end of season 4.

      Now, they have the stupidest character ever there to fill the void of Prentiss.. Seaver, WTH! CBS you are a bunch of damn morons!!!! TG and SM should take you guys to the cleaners come time to finalize their contracts. I heard the talks weren’t going well, for CBS’ sake, they better go well. I’ll say this, after Paget’s last episode next week, I am done with CM. I don’t care for the crap they are leaving behind in the form of the Seaver character and the writing has been more off than on this season.

      What a way to destroy a show CBS! And though I don’t care for Charlie Sheen at all, I hope he takes CBS to the cleaners! I wish Paget nothing but success!

      • Suncatcher says:

        @Carla & Renee – I totally agree with you both! But give credit where credit is due – it wasn’t just CBS that screwed Paget Brewster, AJ Cook and US, it was Creator / Producer ED BERNERO. The ex-cop, Mr. Ed, wants to be a movie mogul by producing a spin off,
        CM: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR with Forest Whitaker. But that took LOTS of money so he dumped the CM ladies. Then he found out the warning shots over his bow from fans like us were REAL – as many of us tuned out BOTH shows in protest. Rumors have been flying since January about Mr. Ed’s attempts to get back Paget Brewster. Could his offer to Paget be due to LEVERAGE on him by Thomas Gibson & Shemar Moore?

        I hope Paget Brewster sees major success with her new show! I heard she is even better with comedy!

        • Carla says:

          Your absolutely right! I realized that I failed to mention that greedy Ed Bernero played a major role in the firing of AJ and Paget. Well, now his precious little spin-off is circling the toliet, I hope it gets flushed soon.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if this were being used as leverage by TG and SM and to that I say good for them!!

  18. Vicki says:

    As sad as I am to lose her on CM, I am happy she gets to try her hand at something totally dif after the way CBS has treated her. But I do like that she has them where she wants them: in her back pocket, in case this new show doesn’t fly. Which is what all of us CM Fanatics are hoping: that she will return after a suspenseful time away.

    In the meanwhile, let’s hope that TG and SM get great new contract offers based on all the fanbase feedback we’ve given them over the loss of AJ Cook, several excellent writers and potential loss of Paget on top of Simon Mirren leaving. There should be plenty of extra cash around at this time, due to Sheen’s termination. Which is what supposedly, CBS was dealing with in the beginnning: “budget cuts:” cutting back by letting AJ go and lessening Paget’s role with no promise of renewing her contract – if not, just the opposite.

    Then there’s the creation of the Seaver character which is a total joke, her character does not fit as the show exists (her a rookie and the team a group of highly skilled and experienced BAU profilers) and we cannot see how TPTB can go back and make this sloppy and unfortunate move right with us who have been following the show for the past 6 seasons.

    Anyway, I am holding out hope that we get Paget back for next season and all this will have been a bad dream. We hope that we get back a couple of the former great writers like Andrew Wilder and Chris Mundy and that the show can forge ahead for another couple years at least.

    That’s all. Good luck and have fun, Paget, and hurry back!

    • Steve Mark says:

      Don’t really get why CBS is allowing for this considering how well CM does in demos in a tough time slot with a stable of ageing hits. I do wonder if CM being an ABC Studios reject might have something to do with this in terms of how the money gets broken up. Then again, why bother with the spin off if this is the case?
      CBS is all about keeping a tight budget which was why they killed off Without A Trace a few years too early.
      I adore Grubler but notice that his character involvment has been reduced/altered. I’m actually suprised that he wasn’t the actor fired. Also, what’s up with his new bad geek hair?

  19. BrianR says:

    Do the comedy and wear some hotter outfits because you are a beautiful woman.

  20. OK, what is this foolishness that she has a Plan B with CM next fall if this sitcom doesn’t work out? I have been wondering all season what is going on with CBS. Do they have a death wish or something? They are screwing up all their shows. Specifically CM. Well I guess that means the show is not planning to kill Paget’s character like I was beginning to believe. Was hoping they weren’t going to do that. Don’t like it. Don’t like it at all.

  21. John says:

    I don’t know how they screwed so bad. Two and Half Men was understandable, sheen should have been gone years ago. Still NCISLA worked fine and became their number two drama and they did not weaken or damage NCIS to create it. Whereas CM got screwed bad. We got some new blonde and will probably get another new female.

  22. Tiffany says:

    Prentiss is my favorite female character on TV, so of course I’ll miss her on CM if this pilot goes to series. On the other hand, she and AJ have been treated like crap, and I’d like nothing more than for Paget to be able to walk away from CBS’ pathetic games.

  23. Gwen says:

    I wish Paget all the very best no matter what she does in the future but personally I really, really want her back on CM next season. I’ll watch the rest of S6 to see how Reid’s storyline pans out but I doubt I’ll be watching a S7 if Paget/Emily isn’t there. Not because Emily is my favourite character (she’s not, that would be Spencer Reid) but because without Emily the ridiculous Ashley Seaver – all of a sudden this elite team that according to show’s canon demands years of field experience, or remarkable genius as in Reid’s case, before anyone can be considered for a job there is taking on rookies?! – will be the only female profiler on the team. The character is a total joke. The only way I’ll be watching S7 is if we have the classic team back – Reid, Hotch, Rossi, Morgan, Prentiss, Garcia and, I can but hope and dream, J.J.

    • tom says:

      Dreams do come true Gwen! AJ set to return next season.Now just need to get Paget back and all will be back to normal!

  24. KevinG says:

    It sure seems like CBS is making MANY bad moves! They are treating PB with no respect. I still am shaking my head in disbelief over the AJ Cook character being replaced with th cadet..these moves are truly the mark of an ausshole!! No disrespect intended to Michael :)

  25. Denise says:

    Good-bye Prentis!!! Can not wait till she is gone!!!!!! But bring back J.J. (A.J. Cook) I was hoping Prentis would have been killed, but alas it seems as it’s not gonna be true!

    • Lucas says:

      JJ is not coming back, keep dreaming and while you’re at it why not
      keep your negativity to yourself. I wish Hotch got canned instead of Emily and JJ
      and if he got killed I could care less but I don’t go to Hotch sites and say it, get a life – why dump on Emily / Paget at Paget news sites. That was rhetorical, an answer is not required or wanted from someone so obviously fraught with negativity.

  26. Ashley says:

    She’ll do a great job on a comedy – I loved her on “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”! The selfish part of me hopes she’ll come back to “Criminal Minds” (can they bring back her and AJ Cook and pretend this whole misbegotten season and replacing them both with that little girl of a cadet was just a bad dream?), but I’ll give her new show a try if it gets picked up.

  27. Ashley says:

    She’ll be fantastic on a comedy – I loved her on “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”!. While the selfish part of me wants her to come back to “Criminal Minds” (can they get her and AJ Cook back and just pretend the terrible character of Seaver and the whole misbegotten season was just a horrible dream?), I’ll give her new show a try if it gets picked up. She’s a wonderful actress who always infuses her characters with strength, humor, and beauty, and she deserves the support of her fans wherever she ends up.

  28. kat887 says:

    Excellent choice. Good luck to her.

  29. LDSK says:

    The irony is the writers finally came up with a great story line for Prentiss…but only because Paget is leaving the show.

    I wish Paget all the best but I will miss Emily Prentiss.

  30. Lucas says:

    Thanks for the Paget news! It’s too bad about the Criminal Minds cuts of AJ/Paget but I hope this new series gets picked up and is good for Paget. If not maybe she’ll find something else. Or maybe she’ll go back to CM. Lotta maybes. I hope for the best for Paget. :)

  31. Lucas says:

    I like Criminal Minds but I won’t watch when Paget is gone, if almost any other character was made to leave I’d be upset but I’d watch, but she’s my fave so that’s why not. To each his own. Just a Criminal Minds afterthought comment. :/

  32. khani says:

    Awww i just love her on criminal minds i aways thought her and aaron would do good together. please come back. first AJ now brewster :(

  33. Kala says:

    I will miss Emily. But it is her choice and CBS did screw her over. I hope the J.J. (A.J. Cook) will be back for next season. Seaver can go, she doesn’t fit. If Shemar doesn’t come back I’ll quit watching. And if Tom G. Doesn’t come back It would kill the show too. I’d still watch it to see Semar but I think it would kill the show.

  34. Jase says:

    good riddance to her on cm.

  35. Deb says:

    First of all, I think what CBS did to Brewster & Cook stinks. It is of course all about the $. They kept Sheen regardless of his behavior, until he ceased to be an asset & became a detriment.

    Personally, I liked the JJ character but wasn’t really crazy about the Prentiss character. I actually liked the Elle Greenaway character better. In fact, of all the characters, Prentiss was my least favorite. She was originally brought in to spy on the team & I didn’t feel they gave the character much emotional depth until this latest story arc, which is her swan song.

    Actually I don’t think that the writers are as adept at writing female characters as they are at male characters. I do find it quite interesting that no male characters have been let go (Mandy Patinkin quit). But chauvinism is rampant in every industry.

    I hope that the new show works out for Brewster. I also hope that CM comes back for S7. I don’t want to see all of the cast & crew out of work. Plus I still like the show. Also although the character of Seaver is extremely implausible, I actually think the actress is doing OK with a lame premise & sketchy writing. I also like the Beth character (Janeane Garofalo) on the CM spin-off, but not the Sam (Forrest Whitaker) character, so maybe those writers will do better with female characters

  36. Jill says:

    I’m hoping that next week’s episode has ridiculously high rates that crash right after AJ and Paget leave again, and then CBS will realize the show was better with both of them on it and then they’ll come back. I don’t even care if they keep Seaver on the team, because I actually think she could be an interesting character if she didn’t have to deal with being JJ’s replacement.

    The feminist in me wants to see Paget succeed without CBS, but the CM fan in me doesn’t want her to leave, and every episode building up to her last is making that feeling stronger. It makes me so sad/angry that they had to mess with a perfectly great show like this.

  37. LuAnn says:

    Please Paget, come back to Criminal Minds!!! Your character is wonderful. You bring alot to the show. It really would not be the same without you. Hope you come back…….

  38. AJ says:

    Usually I would say “stay with the sure thing” because I think the Emily character is cool and I’m gonna hate watching her go… but her job on CM is NOT a sure thing. One day everything was fine and the next they are getting rid of her and AJ Cook. TG and SM haven’t done their new contracts yet, which could be another sign of things to come. The only reason she has the option to return is because of all the fans and our complaining. If I were in her place I would really consider my options because the only thing CBS has shown us is that they’ll get rid of fan favs just cause and I wouldn’t want to go to work everyday knowing that I can be replaced just so the network can save a few bucks

  39. Sharon says:

    Thank you Mr. Ausiello!

    It is nice to have someone report positive news for Paget Brewster. I have been an avid fan of CM since day 1, but after AJ Cook left and with Paget’s departure tonight, I was seriously reconsidering my loyalty to this show, but more so, to CBS.

    I will watch this episode with less trepidation, may cry, but at least won’t throw a shoe at the TV. Anything you can do to get AJ back on? Thanks again!

  40. Bribri says:

    They should have never pretended to kill her off I love prentis she’s the reason why I am what I am. I have followed her from day one… Please please I beg bring her back

  41. Bribri says:

    I agree I love CM but they took too many faces off like my loyalty in CBS has went down like I love Morgan and reed and the rest but seriously their all a family I loved the regular people even Gideon and Rossi but my favorite girl had to be prentis or jj

  42. SpoilerAlert says:

    She went through another fake death. Haha.

  43. Em says:

    I really hope Paget falls back on that “cushy Plan B”…. I mean, the way that “Lauren” ended, it’s possible…

  44. Jeannie Schroeder says:

    Well I have mixed feelings about this the current cast of CM seemed to have good chemistry I’m not sure if Prentiss can be replaced but I wish her luck with her new venture & its comforting to know she CAN come back to CM

  45. Alexa says:

    Does she have an email or facebook cause she seems like a really nice person and i love her so much in the acring of emily shes really someone special and needed in the CM gang. No one could really replace her and its the same for the other characters in CM. the end is weird cuz after some time she could come back in CM like they could say she killed the guy or arrest him so shes safe. really wiash she had a e-mail adresse or facebook cuz im a really huge fan and it would be a dream to email her or somthing…. thx and plz post if she has an email or facebook

  46. Alexa says:

    i forgot to say i dont want them to stop the show tough cuz theyr allll good actors its just when rhey want to put new and random ppl what u do i s u take some then u do like if they werw beginners and finished their shift and everything. like i said we shouldnt wish the show to stop cuz that would punishing all the CM GANG and its not their fault is the fault of CBS and Ed Bernero. Ed Berneeo was especialy his frigin fault and if CM continue i hope evrything will go fine but i really dont went paget to go i know it sounds selfish but shes my idol and i really love her in CM and it has been 3 days since last episode and im still bumed and sad and my % in school have lowered its the only thing i love and now 2 are gone including paget really sad plz come back to CM i beg uuuu!!!!

  47. Alexa says:

    i mean theie show to not stop

  48. xoMariahh27 says:

    Okayy, I’m really psyched if Prentiss comes back, but…. how would they do that? I mean they gave her a funeral and everything! If i was reid, morgan, penelope etc who didn’t know she was alive but was grieving her loss, then saw her come back like HEY GUYSS IM ALIVE. id be kiiinda pissed…?? I mean maybe that happens often in the FBI business, but.. I’m just sitting here thinkin how they would do that! I really really really reallllly want her back, but am confused as to how it would fit in.

  49. Miriam Heddy says:

    I will miss Emily, if we don’t see her come back. It’s disappointing that CBS didn’t value her Paget’s talent.

    I will watch her new show, but I wish that she was described as more than a “lawyer wife” to the male lead (who seems to be the character around which the show revolves).

    Paget Brewster deserves to be a co-star of equal weight with the male lead (and she deserved that on CM as well).

  50. perfs says:

    Glad to know that she has a new show, but I dont think ill be abke to watch it from here in the Philippines. Im going to miss her a lot in CM. I cried my heart out when I saw what happened to her. Even if she didnt die, I still felt sad coz i dont know if Ill be seeing her shows again, given that Im just relying on the other fans’ updates from the US (fyi, we dont have cable at home, so I cant watch her show).. :(

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