Fall TV Preview

Criminal Minds: Jennifer Love Hewitt Not Returning for Season 11

Criminal Minds Jennifer Love Hewitt Leaving

Jennifer Love Hewitt is leaving Criminal Minds, following a one-year run on the dark CBS crime drama.

Hewitt’s exit was flagged by the close of Wednesday night’s Season 11 finale, when Kate Callahan — on the heels of a near-tragedy involving her niece Meg — tendered her resignation to Hotch, explaining that just as she did when she inherited custody of Meg, she wanted to take some time off to focus on her imminent firstborn.

Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer confirmed Hewitt’s exit to EW.com, saying that Callahan’s decision very directly mirrored the actress’ own, that Hewitt wanted time off to focus on her second pregnancy/child, due in July.

“There was an opportunity there to write towards the truth,” Messer said of art imitating life. “Jennifer wanted to be able to give this second baby everything she gave her first, and that’s taking time off to be a full-time mom.”

Messer said the door is “definitely open” for Hewitt to reprise her role as Kate as desired/needed. As for filling the BAU vacancy, Messer indicated the series might go with a “revolving door” approach, before settling in on a new series regular. “This might be a good opportunity to bring in a fun guest star for a while,” she aid, “and maybe shake it up a little bit.”

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151 Comments
  1. luke says:

    Criminal Minds is one of the worst tv shows ever made. Long Live Mandy Patinkin.

  2. kirads09 says:

    This surprises no one. Just please give Reid more screen time and make him front and center. Thanks.

  3. Rose Tyler says:

    I hear David Tennant’s available.

    • Steven says:

      Actually he is busy filming AKA Jessica Jones but good suggestion. However, as far as the last four women to fill this team vacancy goes JLH had the best character or most believable. Prentiss was a fun character but no one has the solution to that many problems sitting on the back burner. “Hey we can’t translate this document, Prentiss speaks that language” “hey we can’t get access to those files, prentiss went to school with a guy” sorry to rant there but I really liked jlh in the show

    • who cares says:

      Nice but not realistic. Messer and DVD messed up the dream team. Paget is not coming back full time and can’t blame her. Like any winning team you keep them together at all cost to keep winning championships. They didn’t and it hasn’t been right since Paget left it’s time is coming to and end with no real concentration on Reid’s character or Hotch finding a good non traveling relationship. They rocked boat:(

  4. drhenning says:

    2nd show she has left due to motherhood… I was wondering what they were going to do frankly with her… At least this motherhood time didn’t kill a show like her last one.. And with her hubby being killed off on Revenge, more together time though that show is over after next weekend anyway… She’s got plenty of money so she can take her time..

  5. Jennifer says:

    I don’t mind her as an actress, but I don’t think she was right for this show.

    • Karen says:

      I was actually surprised at how right she felt in this show as I totally didn’t expect her to fit in at all.

      • Angela says:

        Yeah, same here. She had a breezy chemistry with the others, I thought :).

      • Evan says:

        Yeah, I think she fit in great. Seamless. Didn’t feel forced. I hope she comes back for Season 12, if there is, you know, a season 12. haha

    • Michele Lea Morin says:

      Yeah… I agree. I was waiting all season for her to click, but for me, never really did. Except for this last episode.

    • Paula White says:

      I agree with Jennfier. She wasn’t right for CM. I love the show but wish they would keep down the “gory” pictures.

  6. wrstlgirl says:

    Not that surprising really. Not sure why they always need to replace the character. The team is just fine without another member.

  7. Morgan Scott says:

    Please bring back Printess!!!!! Miss her so much on the show!!!

    • It’s Prentiss. And I hear enough about her on Facebook by one person I defriended because she was too obsessed. I don’t recall Paget saying she wanted to come back to the show. Maybe they’ll kill her like they did with Mandy.

      • Michele Lea Morin says:

        Don’t need to kill Prentiss off. She’s alive and well @ Interpol.

      • mike says:

        Kill off Prentiss? that is the best idea i have ever heard, when they do that can i please stop reading and hearing Bring back Prentiss. Im sorry JJ kicks more A than Prentiss does

    • Peg says:

      Now you’re talking!! Best suggestion yet!!!

    • Hazel Jackson says:

      They’ll never bring back Prentiss. Paget said in an interview she will never return full time, but would return, and be open to the thought for guest spot. she says she never fully got over her first axe. I can’t blame her. Her tweet basically said, she’s just not into it like she was.

  8. I saw it coming. Whenever you see someone with a form, it’s not usually good.

    Don’t really want to know what guest stars they’ll drag in for a game of musical team members. I just want them to actually touch on the nagging questions. Like:

    Will they ever touch on Spencer’s neck injury and the effects on him almost dying (again)?
    Will they ever touch on his headaches? (Like Messer said they would, but we saw nothing)

    And we need more Morgan and Reid interaction. Not much this season.

    • shamemooreugly says:

      MOST of VIEWERS are FED UP WITH idiot MORGAN and Shamer Moore CENTRIC.
      ENOUGH!
      Just ENOUGH!

      • Beth says:

        I liked Morgan for a number of years, but I have changed my thinking about him. He lies to but into everyones business, but doesn’t share all that much of his lief. As for hm and Reid, I think he should have less, not more interaction with him. They are total opposie.
        I’d like o see Garcia find a permanent love interest, maybe get back with Kevin and get over her fear of closeness and losing people. How d others feel about Garcia. I love her.
        Bbn

  9. S says:

    I fully respect any man or woman who wants to take family leave. However, quitting your new job entirely??? After quitting your last job because the writers didn’t cater to your demands for your boyfriend/ baby daddy’s storyline?? She’s not creating a great reputation for herself moving forward.

    • Michele Lea Morin says:

      Doesn’t sound at all like you respect the decision. Part-time doesn’t work out for everyone. I would rather not be a part-time mother, either. Cannot get those years back. Maybe it messes with her career, maybe not. Choices…

  10. Maureen says:

    Just bring back Paget Brewster. Pay her what she wants…you owe it to her after the mess that was made cutting her role and AJ Cook’s
    Roles in 2010. The show how missed a beat ever since she left.

    • Whatevah says:

      It wasn’t about $ for Paget, she wanted to do comedy.

    • Angela says:

      She’s said numerous times though that she has no plans to come back as a series regular. Her not coming back isn’t CBS’ decision this time. It’s hers. I don’t know why people still don’t seem to get this.
      Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE it if she did come back, too, ’cause I liked her, too, and her chemistry with the others. But it doesn’t look very likely, so there’s really no point in fans constantly bringing the idea up.
      Anyway, not surprised about Hewitt leaving, but still a shame, ’cause I liked Kate. I am glad that they left the door open, though-I said this elsewhere, but I do think, at this point in the show’s run, if they NEED a permanent seventh team member, it’d be best to go back and bring back one of the people we already got to know instead of bring in another new person.
      The rotating guest thing could possibly be interesting, though-maybe if they do that, and fans find someone in that setup they like and want to see more of, then the show could go from there. Perhaps fans would be more receptive to a new member if they had some input, who knows?

      • Dean says:

        Easy they’re the same boneheaded people on other posts who think they can dictate the lives of people who make choices and think the most rational and realistic reasons behind their departures are a cover up.

  11. sd says:

    just cancel it please, its painful to watch

  12. Mr. Tran K says:

    Now that JLH is leaving CM after a season long run and soon to be a mother, how long will the suspenseful series ever going to end? Also, is there still a chance that the CM spin-off gets picked up as a series for CBS? If it does, looks like Gary Sinise is back in the CBS family.

    • esteban says:

      “how long will the suspenseful series ever going to end”?

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        Are you complain to me or what? Stop mimicking about what I’ve said ’cause I really hated it and you’re such a BULLY. I’m about to go all Game of Thrones on you. WARNING: I HATE COMPLAINERS

        • WhatGives says:

          So nice to see you that changed from going all Jack Bauer on someone to going all Game of Thrones on someone YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE all because someone has once again pointed out that something you typed that didn’t make sense in English. I guess you’re trying to stick with shows that are on the air at the time.
          I assume you meant “How long before this suspenseful series ends?” but maybe that person didn’t know what you meant at all. I’ve been here long enough that I can decipher what you mean, but others cannot. However, since that’s correcting you, you’ll say I’m complaining (although what your definition of “complain” is I’m still not sure about because you have yet to use it correctly) about you and then you’ll accuse me of being a bully because I helped interpret what you said. Same song and dance every time.

          • Deelyter says:

            @estaban @whatgives…The post reads as if English isn’t his second language…so why the bullying? It is conceivable that someone who is not native to the US could also be a fan of the show. Even if he is from the US…why bully someone? It’s not necessary. And there is enough meanness in the world.

  13. zatanna khan says:

    I’m reposting this:

    I liked this episode and surprisingly, I liked Kate Callahan overall in the season. I think JLH did a great job as Kate and I was initially dissapointed that she was joing the show. It seems that JLH really gave it her all to this role.
    Kirsten Vangsness did blab about JLH not returning so it wasnt a surprise but Matthew Gray Gubler did the same thing in an interview years ago and said that he didn’t think Rachel Nichols would be coming back which was too bad because she’s a nice girl. And poor Rachel Nichols found out over the internet like all the fans.

    Speaking of, since it was initially mentioned that Kate is from the same trafficking unit that Andi Swan runs and that Rachel Nichols’ character Ashley Seaver transferred to, I think they could’ve brought back both Andi Swan and Ashley Seaver to help Kate find Meg.

    Maybe they can bring Ashley back for season 11 since Continuum is ending. Too bad, Rachel Nichols is awesome on Continuum and she can be awesome in Criminal Minds if they write her character with a good consistent storyline.

    I did like how they subtly brought out JJ’s pregnancy and only to Reid so that it wouldn’t look like silly, hokey writing and so it also wouldn’t take away from Kate.

    I liked Hotch hugging Kate and seeing that soft side of Hotch. I really hope that Hotch is back at front and center of the storylines for season 11. The show works better with him as a major focus and not as a background character, which is what it is now.

    And more Rossi next season too. Tone down JJ and give Morgan better storylines.

    Maybe they can bring in Marsha Thomason as a new agent. She was brilliant on White Collar which also ended prematurely.

    • Angela says:

      I feel bad for the way Rachel Nichols was dumped from the show. Whether viewers liked her or not (I didn’t mind her, myself), she deserved a more graceful exit than what she got. I agree that they could use the fact Kate and Ashley worked for the same unit as a good way to transition into bringing Ashley back next season, if the show DID want to go that route. It’d make sense.
      I absolutely LOVED the scene between Reid and JJ at the end of tonight’s episode :). Very, very adorable and sweet. I especially liked the implication that Reid would be a godfather to this baby, too :D. He’s certainly done well with Henry in that regard, after all. And I agree on the end scene between Hotch and Kate as well, it was very nice and touching. I enjoyed the finale as a whole, it was good.
      I’ve never seen “White Collar”, but hey, if there’s any notable cast members/characters from any other crime dramas that fans think could make for a good fit on this team, feel free to list them, guys. I’m all for giving any one of them a chance :).

  14. BrightLight says:

    I could deal better with the revolving door approach over throwing in a new series regular. It’ll be interesting and fresh and that’s basically what this show needs right now. Has it even been renewed yet? Do we even know who is returning next year because some haven’t even signed contracts for another season. That’ll be a bummer of an ending if it’s not renewed. I guess one could just assume life at the BAU goes on.
    I didn’t have a problem with JLH but her character never really had a storyline until this episode which oddly was the one she left in. Although from what I read they had already planned out this story before JLH even told them about her pregnancy. So they wrote it in and came up this ending to send her on her way. She had a huge backstory, but little else.
    If we were going to bring anyone back, I’d take Blake back because I miss her scenes with Reid. They were pretty much my highlights of Season 8 and 9.

    • Angela says:

      The way Erica Messer’s talking in that EW article, she seems to basically be implying season 11 is a go, so if that’s the case, yay :). And I’m going to assume that means everyone else will be back, too, but crossing fingers on that aspect of things anyway, just in case.
      I wouldn’t mind seeing Blake back, either :). I liked her interaction with Reid, too.

  15. Hopefully, this means everyone else is returning — especially also pregnant A.J. Cook.

    Although, I did like Callahan. Sad to see her go. Hopefully whoever they bring in next will also have good spirits, a good sense of humor and allow herself to have fun even in the stressful job :)

    (Since they’re hiring CSI:NY alumini for the “Criminal Minds family” I’d be totally down for either Anna Belknap or Sela Ward)

  16. MIKE says:

    Bring back Prentiss

  17. Peggy says:

    this season had some good episodes, however I didn’t see the importance of jennifer’s role. It didn’t make the show. I am spoiled by prentis and I feel they just need to stick with who they have if she is never coming back.

  18. They’ll never bring back Prentiss. Paget said in an interview she will never return full time, but would return, and be open to the thought for guest spot. she says she never fully got over her first axe. I can’t blame her. Her tweet basically said, she’s just not into it like she was.

  19. I think they need to bring back Emily Prentiss or Alex, I liked them both.

  20. Vivian says:

    I didn’t think she was a good fit with this team. I thought she would stay longer on the show. I hope they bring in someone that more suitable for this role.

  21. Max Persian says:

    I liked Jennifer Love Hewett at the beginning of the season, but as the show ran on, I began to feel that her character was off somehow. JLH is a decent actress, and she looked good with shoulder length hair, but I just couldn’t get over the feeling that she was the one cook too many. Paget really fit in well, and maybe JLH would have too if she hadn’t left. I’m kinda putting some of my unhappiness with the writers for not making a cohesive enough character, and while I can’t fault her for putting family first, her departure is disappointing all the same. I’m hoping they don’t really fill the vacancy next season; guest bits would be interesting, and would give Paget a way to come back for a few episodes and not full time, as is her wish. In the end, at least she was better than Jeanne, whose character Alex Blake just left me alternating between cold and nauseated.

    • herb nightingale says:

      The major problem I had with Jennifer Love Hewett was her hair. I do not like her hair style at all. If it looked more like it was combed I would have enjoyed her more.

  22. Sean Johnson says:

    If they absolutely have to bring in a new team member, I vote they bring back Agent Seaver (played by Rachel Nichols). With “Continuum” ending, it would be a perfect time for that character to return…plus they could flesh out her character more. :-)

    • herb nightingale says:

      I think the problem with Agent Seaver is that she looks to much like JJ. She fine if not on screen the same time as JJ

  23. Kayla says:

    The Prentiss curse strikes again!

    • oneika says:

      I like Prentiss but she left twice. I don’t think she deserves a third time

      • brinley says:

        she “left” the first time when they cut her role. then came back as a gift to the fans with the understanding it would only be for a short time. she deserves as many times as they’ll offer. whether she takes them up on it or not is another issue entirely.

      • Julie says:

        She left once, the last time. The first time, they fired ago and then exercised an option in her contract to make her come back. She wasn’t happy about being let go initially and then didnt have much of a choice when she was still under contract. She left voluntarily the 2nd time by not renewing her contract.

  24. oneika says:

    it’s time to bring back the agent who 5wad in the academy…what was her name? I liked her!

  25. MSamler says:

    I am not sorry to see her go She was a terrible fit for Criminal Minds. I have watched it since day one and the first episode with her in it and it almost became unbearable to watch. And I personally like her as an actress….loved Ghost Whisperer but this was not the show for her. I hope they are a little more careful with who ever they decide to replace her with.

  26. Liz Shaffett says:

    I’m glad that Jennifer is taking off to be a mother. I was so glad to see her on TV again. I hope she does come back. I have been following her shows for along time. I think she’s a great actress.
    You will be missed!

  27. Debra covington says:

    Oh I was hoping Jennifer love would never leave…why not now, finally now bring the worlds all time favorite back, Paget Brewster?? We miss her, I know she misses her coworkers, THEY SO MISS HER, ITS PERFECT!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CONSIDER THIS VERY SERIOUS, VERY DEEP REQUEST YOU ARE GETTING FROM US, ( THE WORLD OF C.M.) ABOUT FINALLY SAYING YES TO PAGET. WOULD BE THE BEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE THE RATINGS???/ REALLY, THEY WOULD GO THROUGH THE ROOF!!!!! THE CONCEPT IS SO THRILLING TO EVEN CONSIDER, EVEN COPE WITH. PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS, FOR YOURS AND OUT SAKES. SINCERELY DEBRA COVINGTON OF FRESNO CA,

  28. Dani says:

    Has the show even been officially renewed yet? And isn’t the actor playing Hotch leaving as well? Its definitely unfortunate that they could never find anyone to replace Prentiss. Seems like a curse or something.

    • Angela says:

      Like I said above, the way Messer’s talking in the ‘Entertainment Weekly’ article referenced here, it sounds like it’s pretty much a given the show’s been renewed. Just hasn’t been officially announced yet-I think we’ll hear that news next week when all the networks start having upfronts and whatnot.
      And I haven’t heard anything about Thomas Gibson leaving. Not even rumors. Where did you hear that?

  29. Géraldine says:

    To @oneika No, Paget Brewster didn’t leave twice but once. If you remember well, she was fired (with AJ Cook) for “creative reasons” by CBS (fans and actors were revolted by this decision besides). She came back for S7 because like CBS “kindly” reminded her, she was still under contract for 1 year but decided at the end of the season to quit because as she said herself ” I wasn’t as excited on the sets before ” & I think that she never got over being fired from the show too.
    Lately, she regretted to have left a whim but at this time, she really thought it was the right decision.
    I think that everyone should get a second chance and if CBS and Paget agree to sign a new contract (with an increase, of course), why not… .

  30. fan1am says:

    Why not bring Rachel Nichols back? She covered JJ’s mat. leave. And even though Rachel is a natural blond, she has had her hair dark brown for her role in Continuum.

    • Angela says:

      Why not bring Rachel Nichols back? She covered JJ’s mat. leave.
      No, that was Jordan Todd who did that. Ashley Seaver came in after CBS let AJ Cook (and later Paget) go in season 6.
      Incidentally, speaking of Jordan Todd, is the woman who played her available? She could come back, too.

  31. Truth says:

    Wait, so the show is renewed? I thought they haven’t decided yet. I started watching again when then added Jennifer

  32. Lizo says:

    Well my mom will be disappointed.

  33. Hege says:

    Sad to see her go. She was a great fit to the team. And I have never been a big fan og JLH.

  34. Why do they have to ruin show’s once you get hooked.. Jennifer was a good fill in now bring Prentiss back .. Don’t take JJ too.. It’s about time to give Spencer a love interest who doesn’t get killed off…

  35. Barbara says:

    It would be nice if they bought Emily Prentiss back.

  36. Sheila says:

    I don’t have a problem with Hewitt, but they never really did much with her character. Would be nice if her leaving means more screen time for Reid.

  37. betty says:

    Glad shes not coming back, don’t like her acting. Love the show and Spence is my favorite character then comes Garcia. They both need more personal relationships on this show.

  38. Cas says:

    An addition I actually liked for once and it lasted a whole season…

  39. Ellie says:

    LONG LIVE QUEEN EMILY PRENTISS

  40. Esther Davis says:

    Why do you need to replace her?
    The characters worked well together with or with another profiler.

  41. Michelle says:

    If they do fill her spot I hope it’s by someone who lasts longer. I really liked her and I really liked Blake, and well, pretty much everyone before that, but the in and out is sigh. Either that or do a constant revolving door like I’ve seen mentioned in a few of the other comments.

  42. B says:

    I grew up with Jennifer Love Hewitt! I love her but this character and this series wasn’t right for her. I think if they can’t get Paget Brewster back they should just keep the revolving door of characters and unless one really clicks!

  43. Yolanda says:

    Jennifer should just bring back “Ghost Whisperer” for season 2016-2017. If CBS still doesn’t want it I’m sure CW would be happy to take it. It would find a perfect home on CW. Bring back “Ghost Whisperer” and she has her career back on track.

  44. Nancy says:

    I was disappointed with the show this season – I do not think that Jessica was a believable character. Please bring back Prentiss.

  45. I hate that Hewitt is leaving. She fit in really well with the team. I hope she comes back, if not I would love for Prentiss to return! And adding Joe mantagna was the BEST idea ever! He is awesome!

  46. Yvette Tirado says:

    You have a great show and Jennifer Hewitt is a great asset.. Please keep her in the series.. I can mot see any one else taking her place but Prentice..love the show!! GREAT JOB!!!

  47. Brenda Hanson says:

    Would love to see Paget Brewster return to criminal minds…..the show hasn’t been the same without her……

  48. Serena says:

    Love Criminal Minds!
    Love Matthew Gray Gubler! The episodes he direcets are my favorites.. Also love Garcia

  49. Mark says:

    No great loss, was never crazy about her character

  50. Lizzie says:

    I’ve ever really cared for her before but I really liked her in CM this season. I’m gonna miss her but I totally understand her decision to focus on her family. Hopefully she will be back for S12 ! ;-)