It's Official: Criminal Minds Welcomes Back Paget Brewster, Bids Farewell to Rachel Nichols

Paget Brewster will continue on Criminal Minds next season, while new series regular Rachel Nichols has officially been let go.

Meanwhile, co-star Thomas Gibson still doesn’t have a deal for next season, with negotiations ongoing.

Joe Mantegna ‘Optimistic’ About Paget Brewster Returning to Criminal Minds

With Brewster and original cast member and fan favorite A.J. Cook returning to the CBS procedural alongside Kirsten Vangsness, there wasn’t much room left for Nichols, whose character Ashley Seaver was introduced last season in part to fill the void left by the departure of Cook’s JJ.

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  1. Lori says:

    I feel bad for Rachel Nichols. She was given a poorly thought out character and she did the best she could with it. I do wish her all the best. I don’t blame TG for holding out some. The man has a family and those days on the set are long, and most likely when they are shooting for the season he’s probably not seeing too much of them. It’s hard for a parent to be separated from their kids, no matter what they do for a living. I am so interested to know how they are going to write Emily’s return. I’d love her to just walk in the BAU room! Poor Penelope would faint!

  2. Tom says:

    This is great news. Can’t wait to have the lovely Paget Brewster back on my TV screen where she belongs!

  3. jeremy says:

    i am so happy she has always been my favorite. I liked ceaver but she cannot be compared to prentiss

  4. scott says:

    On one of the older episodes strauss told prentiss that if she wanted to keep her job she had to help her end hotches career, if Thomas Gibson were to leave I am wondering if this is how it could play out, there was never a conclusion to that episode unless of course I missed it.

  5. amanda says:

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.She will come back. OMG I,m so happy for this. I really thought she was dead and I became so sad and broken and I thought she will never return anymore. But she will and it makes me so happy and calm. I love criminal minds so much and she is a fantastic acter. Love you my friend. I really long for next season.:):)<3<3

  6. Peggy says:

    Yes! Now I will watch the new shows. Each actor and actress brought a unique attraction to their character and together made the balance of a great team. Mantegna and Brewster were able to do it after the loss of Patinkin and Glaudini. Nichols just didn’t do it, couldn’t do it. As great the others were, she was just as bad.

  7. e says:

    does anyone else think JJ and Seaver looked a lot alike…or they did to me in 6×18 Lauren, but its just my opinion =)

  8. CGD says:

    I am so excited prentiss and jj are coming back too. I am a new fan to the show but I have been watching all of the old ones on ION and I love it. But I am a little confused, how exactly is prentiss coming back? Didn’t she die? I haven’t seen the latest episode but I thought that is what happened….?

    • peggy says:

      At the end of the episode where she “dies”, it shows A.J. handing a passport to someone. A.J. and Hotch are privy to this person.

  9. Blake says:

    I kind of have mixed feelings about all this, even though I love both JJ and Emily and thought the Seaver character was poorly concieved. I’m more so glad about JJ coming back because AJ Cook was treated appaulingly and her character was written off so abrubtly. Also, it was never at any stage her decision to leave so when I normally don’t like a character being written out and coming back in so quickly, I’m fine with it happening for her.
    But with Emily’s character, she got a leaving story arc and it was the most epic character send off in Criminal Minds and one of the best on TV ( it would have been even more epic had she actually died ). Even though I love both the characters, I’m fine with changes on shows I like, but this was bad because of the way that both actresses were treated and how they didn’t leave on their own accords, so I am mostly glad they are coming back and I would have been able to get use to Seaver if it hadn’t been for the cadet in the BAU thing. So anyway, if it had been both Paget and AJ’s decisions to leave in the first place and JJ got a better story arc to leave I wouldn’t have been as annoyed about all this happening in the first place and I wouldn’t have been as happy about them coming back but now I’m just annoyed that all this crap happened in the first place and they messed around with one of my favourite shows!

  10. Blu says:

    though im extremely happy JJ and Prentiss are back im truthfully not sorry seaver is gone. I feel when she came on CM fans automaticly hated her for replacing A.J. But it should be fun seeing how they take her off. I hope shes just not gone but Emily will be back in the premeir naybe she could get killed fighting doyle?

  11. jay says:

    They will Fu&$ up the show just like all good shows. Doubt Gibson returns, and when he don’t another awesome show down the toilet.

  12. shawn says:

    Brewster is my fav! So glad she’s back

  13. mike says:

    I would taste Paget and Rachel’s ballon knot with the quickness. Rachel should not have been let go.