Rachel Nichols Promoted to Criminal Minds Series Regular

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Rachel Nichols has yet to appear on Criminal Minds in her character's planned guest-starring role, but she's already earned a promotion to full-time series regular.

Guess the producers really like what they see.

The former Alias star originally signed on for a three-episode arc beginning this week (Dec. 8) as Ashley Seager, an FBI cadet with an unusual family history.

R. Nichols

Hotcher (Thomas Gibson) invites Ashley to help consult on a case.

It was previously unclear if Criminal Minds would bring on a new female series regular this year after the controversial exit of A.J. Cook in September, but it looks like they have.

Why the popular Cook would be let go for creative reasons is a mystery to many, especially without having seen what Nichols brings to the show. Her debut should be interesting.

Also this summer, Paget Brewster's role was reduced from 22 to 17 episodes, sparking rumors that the show was looking to kill off Prentiss or write her off in as it did with J.J.

Brewster was later asked to appear in all 22 episodes this year, but opted to work a reduced number so she could field other offers for future pilots/projects. It's all very odd.

What do you think of Rachel Nichols' hiring and the Criminal Minds casting shakeups?

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


I totally agree with "Jen" and "S.Firecat". Ashley caracter is flat, as nothing to make you hang to it. In fact if she was out of the show it wouldn't make any difference, nobody would even realize it. As "Jen" said so truly she is just another chick, doesn't bring anything to the show.If that was intented it didn't work.On the other hand JJ caracter was "full" had deepness,her position in the team was essential. Even Penelope as good as she is while introducing the cases doesn't come up to JJ work.She was confident, sexy but with deepness to it and credibility. As far as the new CM Suspect behavior following on wednesday it's needs some work, so far "nothing to write home about" even with such a great actor as Forrest Whittaker.


Bring back JJ and keep Prentiss. Why change a winning format. The new BLOND does NOT add to the show, but take away from it. Too flat and no emotion. I feel Criminal Minds was great the way it was and now it is going to be an All Boys Club Show.


As much as I enjoyed A. J. Cook's character "JJ" and was absolutely flabergasted when she was written off the show ... Rachel Nichols certainly deserves an opportunity to develop her character as Ashley Seager.
M*A*S*H - one of the best programs of ALL time - was the first successful TV series to switch in/out characters, ie: Col. Potter for Col. Blake, BJ Hunnicutt for Trapper John, Charles E. Winchester III for Frank Burns and even swapping Cor. Klinger for Cor. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly was risky for the series. CM has already swapped characters before and while Gideon had a great following, Rossi was given a chance and I certainly hope Ms Nichols is given the same. Rachal Nichols has series experience and with the right scripts, I'm sure Ashley can become as popular, if not more so, than J.J. has been. Only time will tell. Give 'em hell Rachel!


Get rid of Rachel nichols!!! Bring jj back!!! I cannot stand her character!!! So flat and boring!!! Blaghhh!! She is just a jj wannabe pure and simple and that she is not!!! Not even close goodbye Rachel!!!


I am so shocked to see that A.J. Cook has been fired from the show. What the heck is wrong with the producers? I feel that JJ's character was one who just blended so well with the other characters, they all just balance each other exquisitely, much like a well played orchestra! Are the producers fearful of a strong female character who is truly kind, good hearted, intelligent, ethical, and does not exude sexuality as so many other actresses do. Shame on them for firing her! And not even giving us closure on her storyline with the baby! I hope they bring her back and I certainly hope they do not fire anyone else - especially the men - but, why is it always the women who are the first to go?


I think CM producer is making a big mistake firing any of the cast. My son and I love CM so much the chemistry is what seals the show. When actors love what they do it shows and that is what we saw. Mr.Gordon take in consideration your viewers. Unless Jj spit in your face give her the job back,did u remember she had a new baby in the last storyline where is your compassion?
You made us care Sooo what you gonna Do?
Waiting on the change.... KCMo


Ashley was annoying (although not due to the fault of the actress), her back-story was so heavy-handed it seems like she makes no impact at all, JJ was a great character, and Prentis should be explored more, rather than replaced with a girl who's role will probably be relegated to "the chick"


I agree with you S. Firecat. She is not at a level to contribute ANYTHING to the show and will definitely bring the show down.


Love my boys..morgan ur hot.u can put ur shoues under my bed anytime..hodge those eyes..myseriuos kide that to I'll make u smile..rossi..man of wisdom...miss JJ...reid would love to see him with a woman...garcia & elle ..u go girls..love criminal minds..marathon today yippee for me..repeats watch all the time whenever all....the exictement the thrill to get into the mind..of a kill...Rachael?????..IDK..something about here....I don't like


I truly disliked the Ashley Seager character that just guest starred. And I was praying that she wouldn't become a regular. She just isn't needed and I thought her character was not nearly at a level where she could make any kind of valuable contribution to the BAU team. What a shame and what a detriment she will be to the show.

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Criminal Minds Quotes

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


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