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.