A.J. Cook: Out of Criminal Minds

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After five seasons as a main cast member on Criminal Minds, A.J. Cook has been dropped from the show.

According to Entertainment Weekly, CBS chose not to pick up the actress' contract option for next season, citing financial concerns as the chief reason for this shake-up. Cook has portrayed the character of Jennifer Jareau since 2005.

A.J. Cook

Elsewhere, fellow cast member Paget Brewster will likely remain a series regular. However, she'll appear in fewer episodes that most seasons due, once again, to budgetary concerns.

** UPDATE: A source now says Cook was let go for "creative" reasons and a new actress will come aboard the series.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


What is the point in getting rid of JJ and adding another to take her place. Where is the logic in that??


I like watching Criminal Minds but getting rid of the women and making it all male is a wrong move. Probably will not be watching it so much next season... too bad.


With you Lisa, with AJ Cook gone, and Paget Brewster more scarce; what are they going to do, give us more Joe Montegna centric plot lines - oh boy! I am also with AirDave, when Mandy Patinkin and then Lola Glaudini left, so did my regularity in watching Criminal Minds - from every week to the occasional perhaps monthly. I will likely tune out Criminal Minds completely now as a result of this latest development in cast change, and a Spin-off? Please, like NCIS LA was a good idea? NOT! Sorry, but it might be time just to say good bye to Criminal Minds entirely and give the time-slot to a new show! I am starting to get why David Letterman always disparages CBS Network Executives!


Wow does that blow! AJ's Jennifer is the glue of the dipatriate members of the BAU Team . . . she is the calm reason when their are conflicts between the BAU and Local Authorities, the 'pat you on the back' gal when a team member is feeling down, kind of the 'heart' of the team. I will be sorry to see her go . . . regardless of whomever takes on the character of Jennifer in the next season.


I'd have kicked off any of the others before I thought about A.J. Cook or Paget Brewster


yes, high ratings.. but I think they're trying to send a message.. they're going to be like law and order, unafraid to change main characters to keep the budget in check in the end, it's the only way for longevity


Completely agree with most of these posts. This is a terrible move by CBS to drop JJ and cut Prentiss. Hopefully this is either not true or we as fans protest enough that CBS decides to pull their collective heads out of their @sses and bring them both back fulltime. For those who have been with CM from the start check out this BBC show- Wire in the Blood. Great show, darker than CM and in my humble opinion much much better than CM!


I cannot believe that CBS would even consider removing JJ as a character. JJ's character adds heart and a much needed human touch to introducing the horrific story lines. This element is needed just as much as Garcia's flirty comedy and Reed's never ending fountain of knowledge. This blend is what makes the show worth watching. The episodes where AJ Cook was on maternity leave were derisory at best!


If this really happens, so long Criminal Minds. Won't be watching you anymore. Too bad, I really liked the show. All because of the spin-off? Pretty sure it's going to be a piece of crap and have terrible ratings.


Next to go should be the aweful Stella on CSINY


Criminal Minds Quotes

To a father, nothing is dearer than a daughter - Euripides.


Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we're proud of. We are what we choose to be - Graham Brown