Criminal Minds Shocker: Paget Brewster Quits!

Paget Brewster Criminal MindsPaget Brewster is getting out of the serial killer biz — for real this time.

The actress is leaving Criminal Minds at season’s end to pursue other projects.

“After six wonderful years playing Emily Prentiss, I have decided it’s time for me to move on,” Brewster (whose Minds’ deal expires in May) said in a statement to our sister site, Deadline.com. “As much as I will miss my Criminal Minds family, I am excited about the future and other opportunities.”

Per Deadline, Brewster’s decision to leave came after CBS and ABC Studios denied a request she made to enter pilot season with the hope of landing another half-hour comedy project. Last year she was cast in NBC’s My Life as an Experiment, which did not get picked up to series — paving the way for her to return to Minds this season (something Brewster was not entirely happy about). “I had another year on my contract that I didn’t know about,” she recently told TVGuide.com, “so I had to come back! I said, ‘Hey, I kinda want an apology and maybe a raise.’ And they were like, ‘No, we’ll sue you!’ The whole thing was, unfortunately, a mess. It was dumb.”

“We were all sad to hear the news, but we respect and support any decision Paget wants to make,” Minds‘ showrunner Erica Messer said. “Personally, I’m a huge fan and will continue to be one wherever she goes.”

Brewster’s co-stars, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore and A.J. Cook, have already inked deals for a potential Season 8.


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206 Comments
  1. tsquared says:

    If they have her date any of the ships I will vomit. Lack of inter-team romance is a huge part of the appeal of CM, in my opinion. If they hook her up with a BAU person I will just go back to season 6, watch “Lauren” up until the end of the funeral scene, and just pretend she died then. No ships please!

  2. Alicia L. says:

    NO PAGET DON’T LEAVE! I get it though she didn’t want to come back in the first place and they force her to come back, but I feel really bad for her and the writers because they worked so hard to reintegrate her back into the show! I’m going to miss her, but I think the show can survive without her as long as all the original people come back because she didn’t show up till the second season and I was watching it before that! Criminal Minds has done better than most about keeping the original people on the show if we ignore the entire debacle with AJ last year. I do think that CM could carry on with out her, but I’ll miss her! If she’s leaving I think its cool if Messer gives into the fans that want Hotch/Prentiss because honestly that would be a great way to keep talking about her character if she isn’t on the show anymore! I’m on the fence on whether they should higher Rachel Nichols back not because I don’t think she isn’t good, but because watching her and AJ in a scene together will hurt my eyes, they look kind of similar!

  3. Laurel Nickles says:

    Well with a comment like she made to TV Guide, I can understand why CM wouldn’t allow her to enter pilot season. I find it odd that she didn’t realize she had another year left on her contract. Sounds like that would her agents fault not CM. Guess she doesn’t like living up to her contractual obligations.

  4. JDHetherington says:

    Does this mean Rachel Nichols is going to be brought back as Agent Seaver? Please? She’s been away for a year on another team, so she wouldn’t be a “rookie” anymore, and after “rectifying” their mistake of firing AJ and Paget, they essentially did the same thing to Rachel. I think if they want to avoid a needless “character introduction arc” then they should bring back someone they already did that with.

  5. Amy says:

    So will she die this time or just move on to another job/location/life? I hope they can give her a good closing arc.

  6. Kevin says:

    They don’t need to bring in anyone to replace Paget. The cast is too large now so having one less profiler to write dialogue for can only improve things. Best of luck to Paget Brewster, and to those who feel the need to feel put out with her, I guess you’re going to stay with the job you have today for the rest of your life and never feel the need to move on and do something different? That’s awesome for you and certainly your choice, but you really shouldn’t begrudge someone their desire to do something different. Life’s too short to spend a minute of it unhappy if you don’t have to.

  7. Jessica says:

    In my opinion Seaver was not great! Everyone was talking crap about her while she was on the show and now that she is gone and paget is leaving everyone is asking if she will be back and how great she is! If the actress was smart she would not come back because I heard she’s doing a new show and clearly CBS does not have their actresses backs. They wrote her cold, she came off cold and arrogant, and they tried to do some stupid love thing with Reid! It was like the writers were trying to make the new character not work! It’s a family unit show that’s what makes it work! Ahhh they just need to finish this show off with the same people that remain and call it a day! Before they piss off anymore of their fans/actors! If mgg does not come back let’s face it..shows done!

    • Brendan says:

      I think a lot of viewers that didn’t like Seaver never gave her a chance because they were angry about JJ and Prentiss. I suppose that would be no different this time around if they did bring her back, but I thought she was an interesting character, and I’d like to see her get some more run.

      • Jason says:

        Most people started out not liking her because they were angery about JJ and Prentiss. Then, they ended up not liking her even more because her character was terrible, the writing was bad, and they tried to force her and Reid together.

  8. romiross says:

    I don’t get the Hate for Hotch/Prentiss ship.The show gives enough clues for ANY Ship. So,why the hate?

    • Amy says:

      I don’t hate the ship itself half as much as I hate the obnoxious H/P shippers that kept trying to cram it down our throats.

      • Rose says:

        UGH!!!!! People that hate us (shipppers) can get over it just as easily as we get over the crap non-shippers give us. Free country….so yeah, I’m over it. :)

  9. Jessica says:

    None of them should date each other it takes the show to a whole other dynamic. I’m just saying the romance that was attempted between Reid/Seaver did not help people excepting her character…they should have wrote her in better in the first place! Ahhh I’m gonna miss prentiss…now we are back to these stupid arguments about seaver lol:)

  10. Denise says:

    I know my favorite,Thomas Gibson, and AJ Cook are both signed through season 8. I have no idea how long Shemar Moore’s new contract is for. nor how long Kirsten Vangress’s contract is for. And as far as I know Joe Mantegna and MGG’s contracts are both up after season 7. But yet here I read JM is signed through season 8. Just what is the truth regarding MGG and JM and KV? Will they be back for a season 8 as will the others? I’m also sorry to see Paget leave and will miss Emily Prentiss. She is the most kick-ass female since Xena, Warrior Princess. In fact, with black hair and bangs, Lucy Lawless resembles Emily. Too bad she’s a regular in Spartacus.

  11. Ariel says:

    She’d be great in the new sitcom with Levi Zachary. I think they’d be an interesting match.

  12. Judy says:

    Damn! Just as I was getting used to having her back! Hope JJ won’t be next, again, and that Reid’s contract gets finalized SOON!! And, CM, whatever you do, PLEASE don’t bring back that blonde thing who was there the season Prentiss and JJ were gone. Could not stand her!

  13. Foghorn says:

    Good for her. The PTB’S at “Criminal Minds” didn’t treat her very well so why shouldn’t she go and do something different?
    As for the show, it’s no real loss in my opinion. I never really loved her character enough to think this will impact the show negatively in a huge way (ducks as Prentiss fans hurl tomatoes at head)
    Oh and if they bring back Seaver to try and fill to the void Emily left I’ll be switching off. Her storyline as an young FBI agent who happens to be the daughter of serial killer was interesting but not enough to sustain her as a permanent member of the team.

  14. Géraldine says:

    @Amy, I really hope they will offer to Paget Brewster a good exit too(an arc again, why not?!) but please, that they don’t kill her character or give her a fate like Elli’s one and she has to dismissed because a fault. It was stupid and soooo indignant of Emily Prentiss! :(
    Instead, that they just give her the occasion to move towards something more accurate like a job at the State Dpt where she would have hired at the end of S2 besides (she is an Embassy’s daughter who is fluent in several foreign languages and smart and educated so,..) and/or why won’t she have a family to build, like to meet someone and unexpectedly getting pregnant or deciding to take in charge a kid like she wanted to do it in S3 (why not Declan. who is supposed to be 10-11 years old and is orphan since the 7×01? It will be accurate…)
    Oh and of course, I didn’t mention the fact that Erica Messner can answer positively to shippers of Hotch/Prentiss in making them an item -> they couldn’t able to work together in the same service and she will decide to be transfered in another FBI dept or like JJ, in other Administration (CIA, etc…)
    Smart solutions there are! :)
    Anyway, though I’m still shocked with the news, I will deeply regret Paget in Criminal Minds but whatever project she will be hired, I will watch…well, if it is held by a major, of course…! I just hope that the actress won’t regret her decision and won’t be unemployed too long time – even if it is uderstandable -> she didn’t ask some money like Gibson, Moore, Mantegna et surely soon Gray Gubler & Vangeness in a near future but just the right to make live some projects she enjoyed. It is really too much too ask? It seems for CBS & ABC Prod! :(

  15. Ashley says:

    I’m very disappointed but not shocked – the network/show runners treated her like crap over the last couple of years. I hope they don’t try to bring back that awful Seaver character – I won’t watch if that happens! Maybe it’s time to retire the show: make the 8th season the final one, stay down one character, and let them have a proper goodbye.

    • Michael says:

      Why just because she leaving what about the other actor why should they lose their job because your mad that your favroite character leaving

  16. James says:

    what sucks is that she wasn’t allowed to enter pilot season

  17. ramona young says:

    GRrrrrrr I will definitely miss u paget. Hope to see u again soon though. As for criminalminds I hope its charecters don’t follow in the same path as csi las vegas is Doing the last few seasons

  18. Ella says:

    WHAT?! My stomach plummeted when I read this :( After all the stress and struggle to get both her and Cook back on the show, she’s going to LEAVE? I get that she must be upset about the way they treated her but this is absolutely heartbreaking. And Hotch! After 6 years, I so desperately wanted a Hotch/Prentiss romance :(

    • Drea says:

      OOOhhhhh an Emily & Hotch romance would have been great. I wanted to see Dr. Spencer Reed and Emily together.

  19. anon says:

    I’m not sure if some of you understand what an option is. She got paid an extra amount for granting that option. She gave them the right to bring her back. I’m not saying they couldn’t have handled things A LOT better, but she wasn’t some innocent pawn being forced to work because of a technicality. If she didn’t understand what her contract said, she should blame her lawyers and agents.

  20. Ivka says:

    Again? Are we going to go through this every year?

  21. Ghislaine says:

    On paper, Emily Prentiss is just a character, but Paget Brewster brought her to life and made her one of the most memorable characters on television, for me at least. She showed me that woman can be intelligent, funny, and strong, compassionate, and sexy. In a world dominated by men, Emily Prentiss held her own, and I owe this to Paget’s breathtaking performances. It is rare to see such strong independent women on screen these days, and so I know that though Emily Prentiss may be no more, she will forever hold a special place in my heart.
    I understand her decision to leave IF it is really on her own terms (but it seems that CBS/ABC Prod refused to let her making some projects though)the way Kerry Weaver did back in the day with ER (I’d like to see Prentiss again for the big finale as special guest star…) but can they PLEASE not kill her off?
    I am saddened by this news, but I understand that it is time for something new, not to mention the horrible treatment both she and AJ received from CBS. I believe that Paget is only going to shine brighter and I cannot wait to see what she does next. Emily Prentiss may have interested me into watching Criminal Minds, but it was Paget Brewster who keep met coming back every Wednesday.
    Thank you for a unforgettable six years, and I wish you all the best Paget!
    Sad but I wish her all the best! :)

    • Drea says:

      I agree with what you said 100%. I agree that Emily Prentiss is just a character but Paget Brewster brought her to life. That was a great way of putting it. Now that we know she is not going to be part of Season 8 it’s pretty sad. I also hope she comes back for “Guest appearances”. It’s unfortunate that this had to happen. I think CBS is really at fault here because of the whole “Firing” issue with A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster. CBS made a huge mistake even thinking they could fire them w/o getting a massive negative reaction from the fans. I can’t say I am so surprised. The networks seems to be greedy and bureaucratic. What I think is funny is they always say things like “Creative Differences.” or “Taking the show in a new direction” when what they really meant to say is $$$$$$$$$$$. The networks also think that the fans are so slow that we don’t see right through it. Anyway, I liked what you said.

  22. Renee says:

    Best female character on the show. :(

  23. Sammy says:

    I think the show has been going down hill since season 5 and this season has been particularly bad. I say, get off the sinking ship while you can!

  24. LDSK says:

    I am very sad to see her go as Emily was the reason I started watching the show in the first place. I will miss her but I wish Paget the best.

  25. AntiaRelax says:

    Dear Hollywood,
    Please adapt The Eyre Affair books into a series starring Paget Brewster.
    Sincerely,
    Anita

  26. Roni says:

    Prentis is one of the reason’s I enjoy CM. Besides her now all I have to look forward to is Garcia and Morgan’s playful banter. I see Paget will be on the after show for “The Walking Dead” next Sunday. Now if they could make Paget a character in “The Walking Dead” my world would be perfect again.

  27. LaRieN says:

    Brewster’s co-stars, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore and A.J. Cook, have already inked deals for a potential Season 8.
    >>> No Matthew Gray Gubler???
    And I’m so sorry for her leaving, I will miss her so much.

  28. Rose says:

    As much as I do respect Paget’s decisions, I hope that she knows how much this is really breaking our hearts. The fans have been so excited for her return and I think that letting fans down after this is kind of mean.

  29. Randy says:

    Good luck Paget I will miss you! And if CBS really wanted her character for a longer time back than just a year, they would have made a new contract last year. It takes a villiage becomes a new meaning… And yes I belief it was clear it would be her last year they all just agreed to not let the public know…

  30. She will be missed :-( i love ha just as much as i do the rest of them nobody will fill my heart theres always a space for her in my heart goodbye paget brewster love u forever

  31. Mememinds says:

    I keep looking at the news to check if it is real… and it seems it is. I cannot find any post in the CBS forum, I cannot write a new one… so I will unburden myself here… buahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh She is the perfect actress doing the perfect character, the best character in Criminal Minds, my favorite one. The one that links toughness with sweetness, I cannot believe she is leaving, after all… I mean, I understand the reason but even though… am I selfish? sure, but I do not want her to leave… I will miss her so much, nothing is gonna be the same.
    Disappointment, maybe that is the word.
    Goodbye and good luck, you are breaking my heart!! :,

  32. Sarah says:

    Feel awful about how badly she was treated and that screw ups made by the bosses mean no more Emily Prentiss for us, don’t blame her at all but gutted doesn’t cover it. How will I deal wihout her hilarious facial expressions in awkward situations? I just don’t know!

  33. Samantha says:

    i will miss her so much CM will never be the same without her but i respect her choice people say she is a traitor but she isnt its her choice i will follow her where ever the road leads her cause i am a true fan of hers she is a great actor and will get on another show that i WILL watch no matter what but i probly will cry the day she leaves but there will always be a special place in my heart for emily prentiss no one will ever forget her charactor cause she gave CM 6 great years and was funny and caring i dont blame paget for wanting to quit cause of the way CBS treated her and A.J last year but is A.J quits i will be done with criminal minds
    thank u paget for 6 AMAZING years i will never forget emily prentiss

  34. John says:

    I don’t think Paget Brewster should leave because there is no closure at all. Elle left because she got shot and it just got worse. Giddeon left because he got tired and worn out plus his wife died. A.J Cook left (and returned) but she left because she got a new job offer, and a family. One thing these all have in common is closure. When Emily left there was a window of chance that she come back, which she did. She cannot leave for the same reason because Emily got better. Elle after she got shot mentally got worse, but Emily mentally got better. If Emily leaves now there will be no closure. Also I have seen a lot of other comments and they don’t want Emily to leave. If she leaves now I bet the viewers and ratings will go down. Also the CM writers can not do that by the end of this season. She needs at least one more season to get good closure. The best way to do that is give Emily a relationship. :) Also if Paget Brewster leaves but Emily stays as a diffrent actress that will upset a lot of viewers to. So I think the CM Writers, producers, and Paget Brewster should Really listin to my comment if they want to please the viewers and fans. Personally I would like Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss to stay to the end of the series, but one really good season would suffice. PLEASE READ!!!!

  35. AnnClau says:

    It’s okay for her to want to leave but I want her not to come back this time, just leave for good or don’t leave at all.
    And also, what about Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness? I really really want them to stay.

  36. Sandra says:

    Hopefully, her leaving will give somebody else a chance to shine!!

  37. Jinko says:

    Why or who decided to make her look so ugly with boot black hair and Vampira makeup?She looks hideous, as if she’s going to a Halloween party.

  38. teresa rooker says:

    Criminal minds is and has been my favorite show. I was deeoly saddened to hear Paget Brewster would not be returnng for season 8th.. I pray that Matthew Gray Gubler will sign his contract however. The only problem I have is I understand Paget maybe be pissed off at CBS for what they did, cant really blame her however there are many people like myself who spent alot of personal time to fight with CBS to get her and A.J. Cook back..To find out that are efforts were all in vain. I know I dont know the true story and probably never will. I just wish that sometimes actors and actress themselfs would realize who are they are really hurting. LIke they say ( It takes a village to raise a child, But it takes a team to make show.) Criminal Minds will go on !!!!!!!!
    muffin1069

  39. Meg says:

    OMG!! Nooo! I love Emily :(

  40. Jess says:

    People read the top,my goodness posts just running around in circles. Ex “well why did she come back only to leave?” geeezz!

  41. Drea says:

    I have a hard time with Criminal Minds. I love the show but CBS and ABC make stupid decisions regarding the Actors/Actresses. They seem to have a hard time keeping the show together. Every single season I get nervous about who will end up “Fired”. Oh and I really hate being lied to. I think CBS lied when they stated that the reason A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster were being let go because of “taking the show in a new direction”. Why can’t they just be honest. I am glad that didn’t work out because when it comes to these characters in this particular show, it’s just one of those where the people are irreplaceable. These Characters feel real to me. When they make one go away it really leaves a huge void in the show. The worst one was when Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) left the show. I was really really surprised that even happened. I am not so sure we can blame CBS for Mandy Patinkin’s departure. That seemed to be all his doing. Something about how he is not comfortable with violence on TV. Ugh. Now with Paget Brewster leaving for real this time, I think it will leave a huge hole in the show. Hopefully Jeanne Tripplehorn will help fill that hole. I really wanted to see Jeanne Tripplehorn’s character have a romantic relationship with someone on the show. I would really like to see Dr. Spencer Reed fall in love. His lady would have to be at least brilliant and it would be fun to watch. Especially if Dr. Reed found a woman that was pretty much his match.

  42. Paulinew says:

    An FBI behavioral series with no female agent representation. I’M totally blindsided by the admins. extremely narrow minded viewpoint of Women not to mention the firing of two very talented valuable Actors, A.J. and Paget.
    I am proud of Paget Brewster, the classy way she handled the situation and her decision to not renew her contract. Good Luck to you both. Bon Voyage.

  43. Lorraine Bavaro says:

    That Was Good!

  44. Lorraine Bavaro says:

    THEY SHOULD REPLACE ZIVA DAVID ON NCIS, WITH EMIL PRENTISS

  45. John says:

    are you sure about that. they tried to replace a.j cook with rachel nichols and how did that work out?

  46. John says:

    I really don’t think she is being ungrateful as it’s her life and she wants to do something she will enjoy a little more, i wish her the best of luck and hope to see her in another great show soon. But even though i’ve really enjoyed this season with her back i don’t think they will be able to come up with an episode to match “Lauren” in wich brewster can exit on.