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.


Bring back A. J. Cook. No one else.


A.J left because they made her for "creative reasons".Which is a load of crap. They say this girl won't be a replacement and I find it interesting that Thomas implies that she can't be replaced. Did they not replace Gideon with Rossi? How about replacing Elle with Emily? Are some members irreplaceable and others not?I still find it annoying that the others have to come off as incompetent in an effort to show how "hard" JJ's job was. I still don't see where it was extremely difficult.


the produce suck bring a.j. back. at least you didnt kill her off yet.


She's not a replacement. Rachel even said so herself on her twitter page. She was originally going to be but Ed & CBS changed their minds and she's only doing a 3 episode arc. The issue was the backlash of AJ Cook's exit that worried them so they decided to wait to maybe replace the JJ character at a later time. I agree with Gibson, there is no replacing the character or the AJ the actress. I'm still sad/angry by CBS firing her for no reason at all.


Was AJ Cook written out because she wanted to leave ? She's is as they said the glue that held the team together.

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