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'Criminal Minds' Cuts Cast Member A.J. Cook

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 15th 2010 10:20AM
The CBS procedural is getting a spinoff series and has inspired a videogame, but all is not well with the 'Criminal Minds' piggy bank.

EW.com reports that 'Criminal Minds' producers have opted not to renew the contract of cast member A.J. Cook for the show's upcoming sixth season, because of budgetary reasons. No word yet on whether or not Cook will return long enough to wrap up her storyline; the actress plays FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, the 'Minds' team's liaison with the media and local law enforcement agencies, who has a son with her policeman boyfriend William LaMontagne.
The show is also reducing the number of episodes Cook's co-star, Paget Brewster, will appear in next season. Brewster is still in negotiations to determine how big a role her character, FBI BAU Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss, will play in season 6. Prentiss is the team's foreign language expert and self-titled resident nerd.

The hit to the 'Criminal Minds' female cast means Kristen Vangsness, as FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, will be the only full-time female cast member still on board the show.

Meanwhile, though CBS has considered canceling 'Criminal Minds' in the past, the show will move forward and become a franchise, as the Forest Whitaker-led 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior' joins the network line-up in 2011.

Whitaker plays BAU team leader Sam Cooper, who was introduced in the season five 'Criminal Minds' episode 'The Fight.' Cooper and his team, who also work at the FBI in Quantico, helped the original squad track down a San Francisco serial killer. 'Suspect Behavior' is planned for a midseason debut on CBS.

And if that isn't enough to satisfy 'Criminal Minds' fans, the show is also becoming a videogame later this year. Legacy Interactive will release the 'Criminal Minds' PC game in the fourth quarter, just in time for holiday gift giving. Because nothing says 'Happy Holidays!' like a game that lets your loved ones get inside the minds of serial killers.

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I think the new girl sucks and you should put JJ and Emily Prentist back in

July 03 2011 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Criminal Minds has ruined a good thing! Gideon was fantastic and AJ phenomenal. What are you thinking?

February 28 2011 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

AJ Cook is missed. The new girl just does not cut it like AJ!

February 18 2011 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jasmin Grace J. Arab

why? i don't need a video game! i need my show! it isn't the same without JJ and less Emily! and i don't know if i'll watch it if they'll take out Garcia too...

February 12 2011 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok,what's next? Fire Matthew Gray Gubler or Shemar Moore? I miss AJ Cook and her role and this whole ,,budget" story stinks...

February 08 2011 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Criminal Minds and I'm in two dilemas next Monday Night In New Zealand on our public channel Season 6 starts at eight thirty pm,on another sky channel season three is on at the same time.I've seen seasons 1 and 2 and seasons, some of 4 all of 5.
That's dilema 1. My next dilema is one pure frustration,from what I can gather CM has had consistent ratings, why change a winning format all of the emsemble cast is brilliant they click why change it. I suggest to the spinoff for awhile,the forget about it and put that BRILLIANT Actor Forrest Whitaker in something all to himself and something worthy of his talents. I also suggest that all CBS Excecutives take a 5 per cent paycut there is probably too many of you anyway ? And get rid of that lowlife Sheen off the screen he can't act .

January 11 2011 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

dear CBS, are you complete morons?? how can you think cutting one of THE major female leads and reducing the kick ass Prentice scenes, is a good decision?? And like all spin offs this one is going to be a fail because lets face it, in the one episode that we saw the 'other' team, despite the attractive english one, they lacked the chemistry and the bond...
Criminal Minds is a hugely under appreciated show that, nonetheless has a loyal following, don't go and ruin it.

December 22 2010 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that if the decision to cut A.J. Cook's character from Criminal Minds is based on money, then the show will not be around much longer. How does one of the #1 shows on T.V. have financial trouble? I have been watching from the beginning and have never once missed a show! If it is for financial reasons, then they should have cut the character of Hotchner when his wife died...it would have made more sense!

If the reason for cutting J.J. is because they wanted to bring in new blood and in turn freshen up the show...then they've ruined the show. These characters have such a great chemistry, which is one of the reasons I love it so much! If they want to freshen up the show then the writers should come up with new ideas. A new face will only go so far as the writers take them...why can't they do that with J.J.?

I understand that change is necessary sometimes, but too many changes will actually ruin the show. I am willing to give it a try without J.J. on the show, but I don't think it will be the same. Too many changes and I'm done.

Hey big shots at Criminal Minds, don't mess with a good thing or you'll lose it entirely!

October 03 2010 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A.J.Cook left because CBS didn't renew her contract.
They said it was for budget reasons. As far as I know,
Ms. Cook didn't leave: She was "Canned." Forrest
Whittaker's new show seems to be a higher priority in
CBS Executives' minds. We don't need a Spin Off, thank
you, just a complete cast once again.

October 02 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am really sad that CSI NY Melina Kanakaredes left the show and that Liz Vassey was cut. It also sucks that A. J. Cook felt she had to leave Criminal Minds. All three of these characters belonged on these two programs and it will change the chemistry of the shows.

October 01 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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