Rachel Nichols Cast on Criminal Minds

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Rachel Nichols has signed on for a multi-episode story arc on Criminal Minds later this season. Might she be a permanent replacement for A.J. Cook, who bids farewell this evening?

It doesn't look like it. Criminal Minds had planned to add a new female regular cast member in the wake of the Cook's departure. That still may be true, but it won't be Rachel.

The character Nichols will play, FBI cadet Ashley Seager, was originally envisioned as a new regular, but that changed, and Nichols will now appear in three episodes, reports say.

Rachel Nichols Pic

Rachel Nichols of Star Trek and Alias fame.

The premise for her arrival? Seager is invited by Hotch (Thomas Gibson) to consult on a case after learning her family history will bring a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer.

It will be interesting to see how the show handles JJ's exit and who fills the void left by her departure. Will Morgan be developed more, for example, or will a newcomer be cast?

In any case, Cook will be missed. She was terrific in last week's season premiere, and this evening's episode, fittingly titled "J.J.," looks like it will be a powerful one as well.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


JJ was great on this show and it will not be the same without her. Why are they not renewing her contract-you have a good thing going, don't ruin it!! With so many show to watch these days, I really look forward to Criminal Minds, please bring JJ back!!!!!!!!!


Bring her back! why in the world was JJ taken off the show? She played a great part and the character tied the cast together. Bring her back to one of the best shows on TV before the fans get really mad and stop watching!


In a way, last night's episode seemed to be mocking fans' feelings and statements that we have all read about JJ's leaving. The dialog seemed to follow exactly what fans have been saying on the Internet, including Reid's question in the beginning as to whether of not JJ was in trouble because she had asked for more money. Except the "bad guys" in the show were in the government and not the producers of the show. I think I could have handled it a little better if the character had left on her own, perhaps due to Henry. I still wouldn't want her to go, tho!!!!


I really hope that CBS learn that cutting AJ was a major mistake and will grab Paget (Prentiss) for many more seasons...




I agree with Celeste, I don't get why they didn't keep AJ Cook, she is great.


I feel the same as Celeste. I'm not at all impressed by this news. I hope she really is only there for the 3 episodes. I have no desire to see anyone replace J.J/A.J. If she's there for some love interest storyline between her and some team member that would be the last straw for me too, if I wanted to watch boring relationship storylines I'd be sat glued to the soaps daily.


I'm really NOT happy with this news.
I mean no offense to the actress(I don't have anything against her), and I know that this new character will only be here for three episodes, but I can't help but worry.
They have a perfect cast (or HAD a perfect cast), they don't need to bring a 'recurring character'. And I don't want to see JJ getting replaced by anyone. And I certainly do NOT want to see this Ashley character becoming a 'love interest' for anyone on the cast (even if she leaves after three episodes), that would be the last straw for me !

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