Report: Criminal Minds Actresses Nix 'Final' Season 9 Offer, Seek Parity With Male Co-Stars

Criminal Minds Season 9 Garcia JJ May Not ReturnCBS and Criminal Minds producer ABC Studios on Friday tendered their final offers to longtime cast members Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook — and thus far only Gibson and Mantegna are close to signing on for Season 9, our sister site Deadline reports.

RELATED | May Sweeps/Season Finale Scoopapalooza: More Than 100 Spoilers on Criminal Minds, CSI and More of Your Favorite Series

Moore is said to be still deep in talks (though the two sides remain far apart on the financials), while Vangsness and Cook reportedly rejected outright the latest offer, casting doubt on the futures of BAU agents Penelope Garcia and J.J. Jareau.

Per Deadline, Vangsness and Cook are negotiating together, seeking pay parity after too many years of making less than half what any of the male series regulars do.

Neither Matthew Gray Gubler nor Jeanne Tripplehorn are up for renewal this spring.

RELATED | Criminal Minds Boss on Renewal Hold-Up: ‘If We’re Not on the Fall Schedule, I Will Be in Shock’

All cast negotiations reportedly need to wrap up by end of day Tuesday, to pave the way for an official (and thus far delayed) Season 9 renewal announcement. Show boss Erica Messer inked a new two-year deal with ABC Studios last week, assuring her continuance with the crime drama.

Messer recently told TVLine that even with five cast members to re-sign, she felt “very confident” about securing Season 9. “I’d be shocked if we didn’t come back.”

Want scoop on Criminal Minds, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Viki Long says:

    DON’T BE STOOOOOOPID , CBS !!!!!!!!! Give em more $$$$ !!!!!!!! Love them BOTH !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Daniel says:

    If AJ Cook left CM and Cote De Pablo left NCIS, Cook could replace Ziva. As much as I love Ziva and hope she will return, it would be interesting to see a new female character join the cast. Especially when it’s Cook. And if Abby needs an assistance, Vangsness can join NCIS as well. They would have great chemistry together – Pauley and Kirsten are very good friends in real life.

  3. Coop says:

    The whole notion of “equal pay” is stupid given that each actor’s pay is going to be different based on personal experience, producer demand, storylines, etc. Plus they’re not doing the same job, especially Vangsness. She obviously shouldn’t be making as much money as other starring characters given her relatively small role on a weekly basis.

  4. says:

    Like it or not the guys are bigger names. Good luck to them finding work somewhere else.

  5. Cate says:

    AJC is doing the same job as the other five actors, working the same hours and doing promotional stuff, she’s got more screen time now after she returned (after being underused and under appreciated) and after PB left, she became the main female agent (JT still hasn’t meshed) and she is fan favourite, even if she does polarize some people, she i well liked by most of the CM fans. She may not be as established actor as TG or JM (the only ones I heard of before CM), but I’m guessing she is a draw for many fans of the show.

    KV may not be doing the same role as the others and I can imagine she works a few less hours when she isn’t the main character of an episode, she is there for a purpose, the ‘comedy value’ and the TA. She has her place and people like her. There shouldn’t be such a big gap between wages the focus this season has been equal between most of them excluding MGG.

    I bet its demoralizing on set, knowing that you’re not valued as highly as your colleagues in the eyes of the network even though you work just as hard on every episode and have been there since the beginning. Even if equal pay is not achievable, they gap between wages should decrease. When the two female cast members who’ve been there from the start are getting paid half and more than half of what their male colleagues are something is wrong. They’ve been screwed around before. PB left because of it, AJC accepted it and returned because it was best for her family at the time, but she shouldn’t have to keep being screwed around because the network and the showrunners value their male actors more.

    I don’t understand why the show needed JT, I liked that they brought on an older female agent but she hasn’t really done or added much yet. The network believed the show needs 7 agents and that they needed another established actor but then they overlook their established actors on the show, with a solid fan base already during negotiations it doesn’t really make much sense. If they wanted to cut costs, they should have left the cast the way it was after PB left instead of bringing on JT. I like JT, even if I don’t think she adds much, but if I had to to chose between her and the AJC and KV, I’d take the latter two any day of the week.

    • The funny thing is, the ONLY actor I’d heard before Criminal Minds was AJ Cook, from Final Destination and Tru Calling. I’d never heard of the other. Just so you see how things work. Popularity is VERY relative.

      (Also JT from Big Love, but she came in very late in the game)

      • Beth says:

        I had seen AJ in a few things before CM, Tru Calling being one of the shows but I didn’t realise that it was AJ/JJ in those shows until I started watched CM.

    • Yud Gr says:

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT Couldn’t believe what I hear there’s a chance that A.J. Cook AND Kirsten Vangsness may not come back to season 9 of CM because they not paid like the males on the show!!! It’s terrible to hear they the heart and soul of the show and of the team this show won’t work without them and the network better wise up and realize that!!!

    • Angela says:

      Applause to this entire post. Perfectly said.

  6. cas says:

    Oh look CBS trying to mess with a good show again. First, I am pretty sure both ladies are fan favorites so not signing would hurt. And people keep saying Gibson and Mantegna were the bigger names, can someone elaborate on what they were in before CM as I don’t recognize them. Well except Gibson from Dharma and Greg which was canceled after like what 1 season? And I hope Tripplehorn isn’t make more than them because what a waste of money. Honestly, I don’t even think she is needed at this point. I do feel their pay should be more equal to the men’s though as they are just as valuable to the show.

    • Mantegna has a huge movie career. Hebwas in The Godfather. He does movie voices. He did Cars, I think.

    • Bri Brit says:

      Gibson was on Chicago Hope for three seasons and then he did Dharma & Greg for 5 seasons. Gibson was also nomminated twice for the Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Comedy/Musical for: “Dharma & Greg”. And he got three nomminations for a Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
      for: “Chicago Hope, and have a look at IMDB for everything TG did prior to CM.

      and will not post about what Mantegna did prior to CM, would be here all day but have a look at IMDB!

  7. Guest says:

    I don’t know that this is actually the gender issue that it is being sold as. On all shows, the stars can be paid differently depending on different things. They can be paid differently as a result of their popularity with the audience, how much the character is the main character of the show, and their bargaining power (caused by how famous they are outside of the show). So, for Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny make more than Howard and Raj (even though all of them are in every episode) because they were the original main characters of the show. And Sheldon makes the most because he’s become the most popular character. In How I Met Your Mother, Barney has becomes the most popular character so he would make the most, Ted is the “main character” of the show, and Marshall has a lot of bargaining power now. I would say that Hotchner is the original main character of this show and Spencer and Derek are the most popular characters. I would definitely say that Garcia and J.J. are not as main or as popular characters as any of those three. The fact that they’re also women has nothing to do with it. For why Rossi makes more, I would assume its due to bargaining power. He was a bigger name before joining than any of them (except maybe Hotchner since he was on Dharma and Greg). Would you say that it is a racial thing that Raj makes less on BBT? Or a gender thing that Robin makes less than Barney on HIMYM? If it helps balance it out, I bet Zooey makes more than any of the other characters on New Girl. And its not because of her gender. It’s because she’s the main character and had bargaining power from being a star. Now that the show is on, I bet Schmidt will eventually make more than Winston because he’s a more popular character.

    • Gory says:

      Which begs the question why the women on this show don’t get the same amount of screen time as the men… Hell even PB had a big S6 storyline and got screwed over.

  8. Andreas says:

    When shows are marketed as being “ensemble” then all main actors should be paid the same, no stars. Main tier, supporting tier, guest tier. Definitely not based on screen time or number of lines.

  9. I’m actually shocked they earn so little compared to the men. A little less, maybe, the two men who have re-signed are bigger names than either of the women, but less than half? That’s ridiculous. Without Garcia the show would not be nearly so good, she’s a major highlight of the show and pushes it beyond the standard crime drama.

    • S says:

      I like KV character she brings the light into the very dark series about catching killers and she also brings in the humor. AJ’s character did the research so she basically profiled before being a profiler and brought the team its cases based on if she thought it was worth their time and if they could help etc.. CM used to be a great show before they messed with it too much. I also just realized on most CBS shows the female characters usually get the crap on them or the smart ones do. Ziva on NCIS used to be kick butt intelligent etc.. for the past few seasons they have soften her character, Kono is on the run for I think being framed on 5-0,
      Or maybe it is just the action pack shows because I do not see it as much on the comedies I watch on CBS.

      As for the BBT Sheldon, Raj, Howard, Leonard and Penny are all original cast members. However all the actors aside from maybe the 2 newest GF/wife others get paid probably the same. Unlike CM BBT actually treats its female cast better and develop the characters and expand on it and still retain the humor of the show. CM has not done that with any of their female characters. What do we know about JJ jareau’s background, Prentiss’, Garcia’s?

  10. Yud Gr says:


    • Cate says:

      Sorry to be the one to tell you mate but it’s 2013 :/

      I agree though, this show defiantly has a few more years left in it (hopefully including the full cast)

  11. L says:

    I usually don’t watch a show just for a certain person or ship so when someone leaves/dies or a couple breaks up, I’m sad but I stick with the show. Now, I’m seriously considering not watching CM anymore if AJ or Kirsten leave, and it has a lot to do with the way they treated AJ and Paget before (I felt bad for Rachel as well). Hearing that their salaries were “less than half” was really surprising. I know equal pay is unlikely to happen but for there to be THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE, it really needs to be addressed and both actresses deserve better. Personally, out of all the cast members, I’ve only seen Paget (Friends & SVU), AJ (SVU), Mandy (Homeland) and Jeanne (Five) in something outside of CM. I actually don’t know anything of what the others have been in so I’ve always just thought of the cast as equals.

    Skipped CM this season and was going to catch up during the summer because I still really miss Emily and didn’t want to automatically dislike Alex Blake just for being there when Emily isn’t. Might not even bother now. In contrast, take CSI for example: Sara left, Warrick died, Grissom left, Sara returned, (Wendy left – I liked her) and Catherine left, but I still love the show and enjoy the dynamic with the newer characters.

  12. Jax says:

    Wow, you guys have absolutly ZERO idea of how Hollywood works. Every ensemble cast should be equal? pfffft! Highly unlikely. It just doesn’t work that way. Why do you think they all need agents!

    • Dixie says:

      You’re right Jax! If the truth be told, an actor is only as valuable as his agent is talented. Welcome to show business!

    • Coop says:

      Exactly. Heck, who does everyone think the source was for their supposed pay differential? I’ll give you a hint… :)

  13. Tracy says:

    Will our posts here have any effect on ABC’s decision? Or should we be contacting ABC directly?

    Assuming the facts in evidence, I agree that the female characters deserve commensurate pay.

    And from a less logical position, if they are gone, I am gone.

  14. vdofan says:

    How do AC ad KV even know what anyone else is making?

    With confidentiality clauses written into contracts of the other actors I don’t see the network offering up the information. So is the information coming from the other actors themselves? I would think that the confidentiality of ones contract applies to all parties.

    I’m not saying that the women don’t deserve a bump in salary or equal pay, but who’s their source for what the other actors are making?

  15. JL. Edmons says:

    JJ is the “heart” of the show and is the only character with a balanced life. AJ Cook’s performance made that happen. She does more acting with her eyes than most actors can do with their entire bodies.

    Through the show’s eight seasons, many of the strongest episodes either featured JJ or she played a key role/memorable scene that propelled the storyline — Riding the Lightening, North Mammon, Revelations, Jones, Penelope, In Heat, Catching Out, The Instincts, 100, Risky Business, Mosley Lane, JJ, All That Remains, and the best episode of the entire show, Hit/Run (season 7 finale). Some of the weakest episodes had little or no JJ in them. When she left in Season 6, the show became even grimmer, with no real redeeming qualities and no life to it, as though all concerned were just going through the motions.

    While at times I’ve suffered from Garcia fatigue, when her lines are good and the story is tight, (e.g., the Penelope episode in season 3), character and actress shine. Kirsten Vangsness has created a memorable character, and Garcia is certainly a valuable member of the team.

    I just can’t see the show continuing without JJ and Garcia — no heart, no comic relief. (It already took a hit losing Prentiss.) I watch the show because of the ensemble cast — THIS CAST (minus Blake) — and its members’ interaction with each other.

    As for the salary dispute, and the comments posted here already about star power and the “time on screen”, remember that when AJ Cook asked for a larger role (and commensurate salary), she was fired. Yet the writers “grew” Matthew Gray Gubler’s role, and he got a huge bump in salary. Good for him. But one can’t build star power and one’s track record of fine performances without opportunity. When AJ/JJ returned for season 7, she had a much bigger role than before and the show was better for it.

    And star power can be a double-edged sword. Tripplehorn’s alleged star power came with a big salary but little time on screen and a dull sharacterization of “Blake”. I don’t wish anyone ill, but the network/studio should cut its losses on that front. She added nothing and did not earn that salary.

    Star power and salary level should come with a proven track record of good solid performances. Allow Cook and Vangsness to continue to build their star power and track records. Both have turned in wonderful performances over the years and have developed their characters into interesting women. They both have earned better offers from the network/studio. Shame on those responsible for not providing those offers, and for trying to cut corners in all the wrong places.

    It is a fact that all the male cast members are paid far more than Cook and Vangsness. I don’t begrudge those fellas their salaries. I simply think that the very valuable contributions of Cook and Vangsness should be recognized with comparable compensation.

  16. JL. Edmons says:

    If there was any doubt about AJ Cook’s talent or her value to Criminal Minds, the May 8 episode should put that to rest. In my opinion, “Nanny Dearest” is the best episode of Season 8 so far. I hope it convinces the network/studio executives to give her all the money she wants — and all the respect and recognition she deserves. In just 44 minutes, she made JJ a playful mom, accomplished profiler, skilled and sympathetic interviewer, fearless action hero, hellava marksman, loving and tender mother, passionate wife, and grateful human being. It’s a seamless and believable performance.

    (And kudos to writer Virgil Williams, who also penned Season 7’s wonderful, JJ-centric episode There’s No Place Like Home, the mini-homage to the Wizard of Oz, which I forgot to mention in a previous post.)

    Criminal Minds can’t lose AJ Cook. Network/studio executives — please come to your senses.

  17. mari says:

    Wht no Mathew needs 2 b thr my favorite characters r Garcia & Dr Reid. Tht sucks

  18. Sarah says:

    I make less than anyone who could comment..for the people who don’t get to have “pay negotiations” please play the highlight of my Wednesdays

  19. Sara says:

    Hey SVU is coming back at least..

  20. Jewella says:

    please i beg of you pay the ladies they are well deserving JJ kicksbutt and Garcia is out cold on them computers. I wouldnt know what to do if they didnt come back on! Im in the gaame deep. All characters all excellent so please pay the ladies…..

    Jewbaby from Westland,MI

  21. karne says:

    My favorite show on television today. By far the best story lines and best actors. What a disappointment to learn that this has been going on. The show works because of the actors…together. all are strong, and deserve to be compensated equally. I can’t believe stuff like this still goes on! Women making less than half the pay of men for doing the same exact thing??? Very disappointing. Makes me never want to watch the show ever again. I’ve got a rerun on right now and I’m turning it off. Too bad….gave yourselves a REALLY BAD NAME!!!!!

  22. Grace says:

    I actually don’t like the “character” Garcia from the show. It seems as if you look at many of the shows there is always one quirky token character — the odd ball. I don’t think the quirky characteristics of her role are necessary for the show, they almost don’t fit, and the stupid references by the one agent calling her Baby Girl just really takes away from the show. I do like the show for the most part though but I see a lot of parallels among these shows with the type of characters and the scenes. For example when the agents/police come to interview suspects/witnesses they are almost always very dismissive the the agents/police. It is very odd to me.

  23. EMILLER says:

    I hope this is not going to end badly! Garcia is the reason I look at Criminal Minds starting with the episode of her getting shot! I saw the previews during commercial time and was nosey enough to look to see what was going to happen since she was a regular. Hope her and JJ stay! They’re such as asset to the show!

  24. DanPS5099 says:

    Good. Get rid of Vangness. The show jumped the shark when they started bringing her on investigations. In the real world, civilian analysts don’t just suddenly become field agents (not that much of this show is real world based, but that part is just ridiculous).

  25. BRENT says:


  26. Sara. Wright says:


  27. jessicala says:

    Garcia and hotch, and reed are my fav characters on the show, as long as they are there I’m good :-)
    And in Hollywood, it depends how popular and on their resume, just like a real job. Some people get paid more coming into a job because of their work experience, I know some people may not like that but that’s the way it works. And that means each year after that, those people will be making more then the others b/c of raises.

  28. jessicala says:

    Oh I forgot to mention morgan too…Love the character :-)

  29. Luke says:

    this makes me sad.

  30. John says:

    If the producers don’t pay AJ Cook on a parity with the male actors (they should have been all along) “Criminal Minds” will lose thousands and thousands of viewers. She is the glue that holds their ‘family’ together. She is also the much needed feminine, nurturing character on the show. One last point, she is a beautiful woman and shows need that aspect, also.

  31. Suzanne says:

    They should all be paid the same irrespectivev of being male or female. They all work very hard and this is a show worth watching. It will not be the same if the whole team are not working together. I for one certainly will not watch it if you change it. This is something I really look forward to watching.

  32. Sealty57 says:

    Tripplehorne dragged down the show. She seemed too distant, too low-key, too elitist. Glad she’s gone.

  33. barbwelte says:

    I have watched criminal minds from day one. But if the female leads leave I’m done. Give them the money they sorely NEED!!!!

  34. Wanda says:

    All I know if JJ, Garcia and Morgan don’t come back the show would not be the same!!!!!!

  35. John says:

    I am incredulous that CBS even considered allowing AJ Cook to leave ‘Criminal Minds’. She wanted pay parity with the male cast and as per usual an American Company attempted to underpay a female. AJ is a fine actor, much more talented and multi-dimensional than say umm Gibson. Allowing Kristen to almost leave for same reason is sheer stupidity by the powers that be at CBS. ‘Criminal Minds’ is one of the most entertaining show on TV with AJ providing a large measure of that success. Wake up CBS, talented, and let’s face it, an extremely beautiful woman draws the male viewers. ‘Criminal Minds’ ain’t a show catering mainly to females such as ‘Oprah’. I would guess that approximately half the viewers are male. Men like very beautiful and talented women, duh. Men will watch men in sports but not in a drama. CBS must know that sex sells. Right or wrong that’s the facts and only the facts according to Joe Friday. CBS execs know all of the above yet they came close to ruining a great show due to cheap sexist behavior. Wake up fools.

  36. Alit says:

    Hollywood men are such douchebags. They deserve whatever they get for being pigs. I’m glad these women stood up for themselves .. and all women for pay parity. How ridiculous. It makes me not want to watch the show and I was just enjoying myself with it.

  37. kraig briggs says:

    i think they should all make exactly what they signed on the line to work for, and if they are not happy with what they are offered and cant negotiate an amount they can be happy with they should go work somewhere else where they can earn what they are “worth”. last time I looked they were free to go elsewhere.

  38. Alit says:

    The show won’t mean anything to me if Penelope quits and I support the actresses. I stopped watching Criminal Minds when I found out about the gross discrimination in pay for actresses. CBS, you suck for hating and devaluing women.