Rachel Nichols to Replace A.J. Cook on Criminal Minds?

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Criminal Minds is all-new tomorrow, but it's a pair of guest stars debuting later this month that cast member Thomas Gibson (Hotch) teased in a recent interview with TV Guide.

On November 10, Prison Break alum Robert Knepper comes to town in a twisted role. "Rob plays the son of a movie actress from the '50s, and is pretty twisted," Gibson says.

"He kidnaps these girls and dresses them up like '50s movie stars and then kills them. It's fantastic!" Sounds it. As for Rachel Nichols, who some say is replacing A.J. Cook ...

Rachel Nichols Pic
Robert Knepper Pic

Rachel Nichols and Robert Knepper are coming to Criminal Minds.

"I don't want to give too much away, but she has a particular perspective that the team will find invaluable in a specific case," says Gibson of Nichols, who plays an FBI cadet.

Nichols will first appear in late November, and while he's stingy with the details, Gibson notes that she was specifically not hired to replace former cast member A.J. Cook.

"I don't think anybody is intending for anyone to be [A.J. Cook's] replacement. There's no replacing the character, there's no replacing the actress," he says. "One of the things we tried in subsequent episodes of J.J. leaving was to show it was hard to fill her shoes."

Did it work, though? Might Nichols end up as a replacement just the same?

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

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Criminal Minds Quotes

The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation - James E. Faust

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

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