Fall TV Preview

Criminal Minds Season 11: Aisha Tyler to Fill Jennifer Love Hewitt Vacancy

Criminal Minds Season 11

One Ghost Whisperer alum will succeed another as Aisha Tyler joins CBS’ Criminal Minds in the wake of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s one-and-done run.

Tyler will recur during Season 11 of the crime drama as Dr. Tara Lewis, a forensic psychologist who is determined by Hotch to be the best candidate for Kate Callahan’s vacated position, EW.com reports.

In addition to Kate leaving the BAU to focus on motherhood, Criminal Minds will also be temporarily down an agent due to longtime cast member A.J. Cook’s real-life maternity leave.

In addition to her run as Ghost Whisperer Melinda’s gal pal, Tyler’s TV acting credits include (but by no means are limited to) Archer (where she voices Lana Kane), Two and a Half Men, Modern Family and XIII: The Series. She also of course serves as a cohost on CBS’ The Talk.

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

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  1. Kim R says:

    And Friends! :D

  2. Farris_TN says:

    Don’t forget about “Who’s Line Is It Anyway”

  3. Uggh. Why? Why do they keep trying this? I’m pretty sure this is the 18th character to try to replace Prentiss. I bet this one will work! NOT.

    • Dean says:

      Okay unless your new to this subject of disscussion, the actress who plays Prentiss CHOSE to leave because she WANTED to leave.

      • Lo says:

        Partly incorrect: Prentiss was written off the show along with JJ, then the fans revolted and they were brought back, but I can only assume that left a lot of bad blood between the actresses and the showrunners… perhaps so much so that she left to get out of a tense environment. We’ll never know but what is clear is that they got rid of her before she ever decided to leave of her own volition (assuming she wasn’t forced out) and was only brought back begrudgingly along with JJ.

        • Angela says:

          I don’t think Paget has any issue with the showrunners, actually. It sounded like the cast and the crew were all very supportive of Paget and A.J. during that whole mess, from what I’ve heard. Plus, Paget did come back for the 200th episode, and has stated that while she has no plans to return full-time, she is open to guest appearances if possible, so it doesn’t sound like she holds any grudges against anyone on the show itself (she’s certainly still very close with the cast themselves, after all).
          I think if Paget and A.J. still hold any negative feelings towards anyone, it’s CBS, since they’re the ones who made the decision to let them go in the first place and since they still seem to devalue the female cast members in general. A couple years back A.J. and Kirsten made a bit of noise when they asked for better pay, and it sounds like CBS was their target in that situation. And as I understand it, when Paget did return for season 7, there was some contract issue she had with CBS regarding her return that made that whole thing even more awkward and weird.
          So basically, from what I gather, any blame can be laid at the feet of the network itself, and not the show specifically.

        • Julie says:

          My understanding is that it was CBS that made the decision to let Paget and AJ go – not the showrunners. And then optioned their contracts to bring them back. When it came time to renew, she decided against it. I also thought they tried to get her back as a regular last season and she wasn’t interested in coming back full time.

    • Sara says:

      First off, holy hyperbole Batman. She is either the 3rd or 4th since Prentiss depending on if you count Agent Seaver as a replacement. Secondly, Prentiss was a replacement character herself. So really, you could say this one is the 4th or 5th since Elle Greenaway left. They need another agent, so yes, they will keep replacing characters who leave. Get over it.

  4. Dean says:

    Cool understandable JLH wanted to take a break and raise her kid looking forward t having another ‘Doctor’ character on the team, makes Reid not feel left out.

  5. Nicole says:

    I love her and think she might be the one that sticks!

  6. iHeart says:

    Good thing it’s a recurring role, otherwise I would be wondering how is she not stressed out from all this work. But then again Whose Line tapings occur in a certain time periods, same goes for Archer. Not to mention she is on the talk daily

    • Lizo says:

      I’m pretty sure she has cloned herself. She also runs her own podcast too.

      • Angela says:

        LOL at the clone comment :D.
        But yeah, seriously, though, much respect to her being able to juggle so many different things. I’d get exhausted in two seconds flat if that were me :p.
        I’m happy to see that people seem pretty cool with this pick in the comments here! A refreshing change of pace from the complaining that often accompanies news of a new cast member for this show.

  7. Tenney says:

    I like this casting. I think she’s a great choice.

  8. Angela says:

    Interesting pick! I wound up liking Hewitt on the show, so I’m willing to give Aisha Tyler a chance, too. Having a forensic psychologist on the team could make for some good story ideas, too.
    I’m kinda glad they decided to just pick somebody instead of do a “revolving team member” thing next season like I’d initially heard. Especially since JJ will be out for a short time.
    Hopefully Tara might actually stick around for a while. Look forward to getting to know her.

    • charmedone1329 says:

      I’m with you. I liked Jennifer on the show. I just wish they would have done more on her background. But I also loved Aisha and her on the Ghost Whisperer and wish they hadn’t killed off her character.

  9. Preacher Book says:

    Well, I already watched the show and will watch it with even greater interest. Love Tyler.

  10. jack says:

    but i promised never to watch it again! and now i feel like i have to, for archer’s sake.

  11. rs says:


  12. Lizo says:

    Damn them and their on-point casting! This is a great choice!! She’s awesome.

  13. LV Sunny says:

    Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
    Aisha Tyler is fantastic and I can’t wait to see her in this show.

  14. Interesting since Aisha was killed off early on in Ghost Whisperer.

  15. Kim says:

    no! Not happy about this! Since Paget left it’s been an revolving door. Just bring her back already! Aisha Tyler will not fit in just like the rest of them!

  16. Maria says:

    Too bad.
    I wish they would stop adding new people to the cast and concentrate in the ones that have been there for years. Criminal Minds cast is far too big already, and now I guess we will see them being pushed back on the screen while we get explanations and side stories for yet another new character.

    • Angela says:

      I agree on keeping the focus and storylines on the remaining six people, but at the same time, it DOES say this is a recurring role, which seems to imply she’s not going to be a full-time part of the team. The main reason they’re adding anyone else at all right now is because not only will Kate not be there, but neither will JJ, temporarily, because of her baby, so the remaining five team members might want an extra pair of hands every so often.
      I’m guessing that once JJ returns, though, they may not rely on Tara as much. Especially since, as others noted in this comment section, Aisha Tyler has so many things she’s got going on, and therefore may not have the free time to be made a permanent cast member.

  17. Isabel says:

    Cool. I think she will fit in well and her role will add to the story lines. I quite liked Jennifer in the role but understand her need to leave. I was not a fan of the Seaver character or the gal before Jennifer. They just did not seem to gel. I loved Aisha in Ghost Whisperer.

  18. liame says:

    Great casting choice. I love her, she has a wonderful presence about her and she’s smart and gorgeous. I love love love her. P.S. I love her.

  19. Barbara says:

    Bring back Prentiss.

  20. Elle says:

    JLH was, at best, inoffensive. They wisely limited her for most of the season, after all, she has all the acting ability to show the gamut of emotions from A to B. Not sorry she’s gone. Kinda meh about Tyler. More interested in the existing team — more than new unsubs or new characters. In fact, they could have Hotch, et al go on vacation for 6 months and film that, and I’d be happy as a clam. CM is about the family we love, not the unsubs, not new people. Oh, and more Morgan/Reid. LOTS more Morgan/Reid. And Hotch. And Rossi.

  21. Tyler for Hewitt? A.J. Cook time out? No reason to continue watching this junk!

  22. Patti Arrigoni says:

    Oh hell no!

  23. Nancy says:

    I am looking forward to the new replacement. Now I’ll start watching Criminal Minds again.

  24. Jamie says:

    I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I stopped watching the talk when this racist made disparaging derogatory remarks about the south and southerns. Looks like only reruns for me. I’ll miss yall. You were my favorite show, watching since the first episode.

  25. Margaret says:

    Aisha Tyler bad choice for criminal minds.

  26. Bev W. says:

    CM hasn’t been the same since Paget Brewster left. I had such high hopes for Hotch and Prentiss especially since Beth is out of the picture. Either of the other two girls — Aisha Taylor or Marisol Nichols could handle the role but neither of them are Prentiss. She is on top of the list. She knows the character, has the toughness to go with it, and she fits in. Neither of the other two have even fit in. Can’t it be worked out somehow?

  27. I must admit I have not liked the replacements for Prentiss since she left the show. But Aisha will be a great fit. Prentiss was not an actress I liked. She always seemed to be trying to hard. By the time they wrote her out I was so onboard with it. I agree with they should stop trying to add a new character and just go with the cast they have but let’s give Aisha a chance to prove or disprove herself.

  28. Nora says:

    This ruins Criminal Minds for my husband and myself. She never stops talking on the Talk and did not like her on Friends. Faithful fan gone!

    • Patti Arrigoni says:

      Aisha Taylor is the most annoying big mouth on The Talk…she’s a self proclaimed comedian and she will ruin Criminal Minds!

  29. Stephen MacDonald says:

    her hair is ugh

    • Patti Arrigoni says:

      Ugh, don’t like her at all

      • Nora says:

        Do not like Tyler at all. I tape the Talk so I can ff past her. She talks too much!! Give others a chance to comment. She is too loud and obnoxious. This ruins one of my all time favorite shows, Criminal Minds. Whose Line was a favorite until she came. I’m sure she is a nice person, just too much of her gets old quickly!! All my friends and family agree, she is better in small doses!

  30. Janie Deaux says:

    Loved Jennifer on Ghost Whisperer. HATED her on Criminal Minds. I hope she doesn’t do cameos. Haven’t watched new episode yet, but Aisha’s hair is hideous.

    • Helen Frimerman says:

      I don’t like the Aisha Taylor at all on criminal minds, what were they thinking, I used to love the show because it has good story lines, but now that Taylor is on it, I don’t think I am going to watch the show, I don’t think she can act at all.

      • Helen Frimerman says:

        I watched the episode on the 14 of October, and Taylors acting is not good at all, I don’t think I am going to watch CM anymore till she is gone, she is not an actress, in my eyes

  31. Bobby B says:

    ADDING INSULT TO INJURY. THAT’S ALL THIS MOVE IS. JENNIFER LOVE was a horrible casting decision. This one is even worse. JLH couldn’t be taken seriously as a p[rofoiler and Tyler is the same thing. She’s already been pigeon hopled as a comedy type person/actor and these types of roles are better off given to new faces that haven’t been type casted already.. The only worst casting this year has been casting Jon Cryerr as a serious doctor. He will always be Alan Harper.

  32. Ronalda says:

    Who put her on Aisha Taylor on criminal minds omg she horrible she does not fit at all i can’t even watch the show anymore and this was one of my favorite shows i really tried but i can’t

  33. lorraine dekenipp says:

    I’ve been watching Criminal Minds since day one I’ve always enjoyed it but since you arrival of Miss TaylorI am losing interest in the show real quick she does mix well with the other charactersI am sure she is good actress she just does not fit in well with the rest of the people on the showand she does remain on the show I will most likely not be watching it any longer

  34. Michelle says:

    My daughter and I love the show. She is into the cast members a lot more than I do. In my opinion, Aisha Tyler not fit the role from day 1. Looking at all the cast members, she is definitely an outcast. The show should look for AA actress like Kat Graham, halle berry, grabriel union. We love Jennifer on the show and hoping she’s back soon. She fits with the cast real well from day 1…

  35. lorraine dekenipp says:

    the last time I heard that the new girl was leaving the show as I watch the latest episode I see that she still there I will no longer be watching Criminal Minds while she is on the showand I’ve been a loyal follower from day one this woman just irritates me the show is making a mistake by keeping her on not happy at all

  36. Patti Arrigoni says:

    I actually think the show has become so brutal, no matter who is on it… It’s not good at all anymore!

  37. Jade says:

    JLH wasn’t given much of a script or any development as a character. Not sure if that was the writers or if she wasn’t up to the task. Prentiss was my favorite in the slot. I’M not hopeful on the next pick. Is Jennifer Garner available?

  38. Susan says:

    I want the original cast to return. Hotch,Rossi,JJ,Spencer,Garcia. This is my favorite show.

  39. Jg says:

    Ugggg love her on the View and Archer she is Not helping Criminal Minds…. Hating it

  40. Tammy says:

    Why isn’t Aisha Tyler included in the opening credits of Criminal Minds? Is she not expected to stay?

  41. Nancy moeller says:

    Criminal Minds has lost its chemistry this season. The new person replacing Jennifer does not fit into the group. Feel like she being pushed at us.