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Rachel Nichols on Criminal Minds: First Look

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Criminal Minds airs an all-new episode this Wednesday, "Into the Woods." Rachel Nichols makes her debut on Criminal Minds the episode following that, airing December 8.

As FBI cadet Ashley Seaver, she assists Reid, Prentiss, Hotchner, Rossi and Morgan as the BAU searches inside a gated New Mexico community for a killer targeting women.

It's been hotly debated whether the casting of Nichols is meant to replace A.J. Cook, how long her character will stick around or what exactly her role will be. Stay tuned.

Here's our first look at Rachel in "What Happens At Home" ...

Rachel Nichols on Criminal Minds

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

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    I think it is ridiculous that they think they can get rid of AJ and have another blonde woman and assume it is okay. If they were to replace Hotch or Reid with someone else it won't be the same, even if they were tall, brunettes etc. What makes the show is the actor behind the character, not a new face. I think it sucks that they are getting rid of the women, in general... that is Sexist and CBS should know better than this. Just another pretty face isn't the solution. More than half of the fans are women so they better proceed with cautious. I am sure Rachael is okay in her own right, and shouldn't be harrassed.. CBS and CM producers should be. I think they can fix this by keeping Emily Prentiss on. Paget is one of my fav characters, and she displays women in law enforcement perfectly, professional, not in a butchy way and she can show her feminine side once in a while and the team will still respect her. I speak from Experince being a female engineer who has to work in a man's field, in construction and see how hard it is to make it without being labeled a B**** for being decisive or labeled as an airhead if you aren't. Paget needs to stay. She's like Mariska in Law and Order. Hear this CBS, you will turn off professional women if you remove her. My fav. character is Hotch and Paget is next and though they may never have a relationship, I like some of the what if secnaios esp. he's a single dad and she's dying to be a mom. Real women are like Paget, career or family.... so we can relate to her.
    Hope Ed and CBS realize that...
    Ps. I take her more seriously than Jeanine that you will have on spinoff. I'll always see Jeanine as the Female seinfeld.
    thanks

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    we have the same name!!

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    Last she said she was to replace AJ for a while

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    I don't understand why you guys keep teasing about Rachel Nichols's participation on Criminal Minds. It has been already confirmed by cast, producers and the actress herself that she is guest starring for 3 episodes. That's the end of it. Her character was initially thought as a new BAU team member - that would not necessarily replace JJ - but that was already dismissed. So unless there's new exclusive information, let's give it a rest. Nichols is already being harrassed by some angry fans who seem to think that her replacing AJ Cook is still a possibility, all because of press articles like this one. She had to tweet more than once that she's not replacing AJ, and that she will not be a regular on the show. Let's help her stop these people's unfounded attacks, and release only information that's been confirmed. Thanks.