Rachel Nichols Speaks on Criminal Minds Role

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Rachel Nichols knows she's in a tough spot replacing A.J. Cook.

The new Criminal Minds cast member, who debuts tonight, says the situation is reflected by the other characters, who will speak to what the audience may be feeling.

"I knew that JJ had left and there was a lot of uproar. People were wondering, who is this new girl?" she told TV Guide. "What they wanted to do was introduce this character and have people like her because you can't have people angry and hate her right off the bat."

A Rachel Nichols Picture

"There are some scenes in the first episode where [the characters] kind of talk about it, and they're definitely a little wary of her. But it was all intended to be a very warm welcome for this girl who was going to be here a short period of time."

Aside from the BAU, the viewers will get to make up their own minds tonight, when Nichols' character, Ashley Seaver, a cadet at the FBI academy, is brought in to help.

Cook's exit has everyone thinking of her as a replacement, but the character is very different, according to the actress, starting with her unique connection to the case.

A serial killer in a gated community is on the loose, and even though she's still in training, she has a very specific insight into this particular case, given Ashley's past.

"This episode deals with a gated community - everybody has the white picket fence, kids, a dog and a station wagon," Nichols says of tonight's show. "They're trying to look for an unsub who really carries off life as a perfectly normal individual."

"The experience Ashley grew up in [was] the seemingly idyllic childhood with a very dark underbelly. Rossi thinks they need someone with a new perspective and because of the way she was raised, she may have this perspective."

But is she ready for down-and-dirty field work?

"She's green; she's not an agent who's been out in the field a lot," Nichols says. "But she asks if she can finish out her training sessions with the BAU because that's ideally where she'd like to end up one day. For the first time ever, she's looking at very gruesome crimes and seeing a lot of blood, and severed limbs. She's the one who asks a lot of the questions and it's helping her figure out if she wants to do this seriously or not."

If she's going to be sticking around, she'll have to make some bonds quickly. Enter Dr. Spencer Reid.

"They have a bond by having grown up as outsiders," Nichols says.

"She's fascinated by Dr. Reid because he's got that memory, and she knows he can give her insight into her past because she doesn't have a lot of details on it. They could certainly develop something there with the two of us having a lot of similarities."

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


Rachel is a decent actress but she's too famous for CM without really being famous. Plus she's plays the smae type of character on Alias and The Inside and Criminal Minds. THe hot rookie, naive. Rebecca Locke and Ashley Seaver are decent characters, played somewhat horribly by Rachel. Rachel was fine in GI Joe, but she isnt good on Criminal Minds. Its not her fault. But obviously after being hired after AJ Cook there will be haters.And she doesnt look exactly alike but similar enough to AJ, just nowehere near as pretty or talented. Sorry Rachel, as a guest star you were tolerable, as a regular I am going to stop watching because you have single handedly ruined the best show ever.


How could they fire Aj Cook and Paget Brewster? They realized they made a huge mistake which is why they asked Paget to staty and obviously Paget wont stay without AJ on the show. It was a major undeserved slap in the face for two of the best, most underrated and gorgeously talented actresses on the planet. AJ is Mary Lisbon from The Virgin Suicides and Shelby from Higher Ground plus she was Lindsey in Tru Calling and She was in great movies like Final Destination 2( the best one) and Out Cold. SHe clearly has range because all these roles are so far away from each other in character and shows how much talent she has. I think AJ would make a great Gaia Moore from Fearless if they ever bring that to life again. Rachel sucks.


Rachel Nichols came in on ALias and she fit in. But the show got canned. Rachel had her own show "the inside" and that show got cancelled. Rachel is meant to be a movie actess, not a tv actress. Rebecca Locke had a lot of great potential but wasnt exactly played right by Rachel. Ashley Seaver is a decent guest character, but has no long term chemistry with anyone in the cast. Of course they will be nice to her on set but she does not belong on the show. Its not even in characeter for Hotch to let her on the team in any way shape or form. and she and Reid better not happen.


i liked her well enough on her introduction episode, but really only as a guest character. i haven't seen fit to like her at all in any of the following episodes she's been in; i'm inclined to dislike her and they haven't done enough to rectify that


OK did you purposely go out and find the worst actress in hollywood for this role? I'd rather one less female, and more face time for Paget Brewster


I don't even really care about AJ Cook. I do care about Paget Brewster leaving, but this is about Seaver. I didnt hate Prentiss or Rossi this much when they came in board!


Seaver is annoying. I think that if they're getting a love interest for Reid it should be someone more compatible to him. Someone just as smart, but maybe a little darker and maybe a shady character. Seaver shouldn't stay for long. Her story's already getting stale.


Rachel Nichols and A. Seaver are not charasmatic or likeable and don't belong on CM! The original characters worked so well together, I don't understand why Tassler didn't renew AJ Cook's contract. And the changes to the storylines.....specifically Corazon and the 13th Step are so poorly written and out of character for Criminal Minds. What a SHAME!!! It was an excellent show and CBS is destroying the best show on their network. CBS has lost a viewer!!!


1. Reid can do better, MUCH better. 2. So what if she has a past? My mom heard about her cousins' friends' sister seeing a serial killing one time, so let's put my mom on Criminal Minds! It's cheaper! 3. Why didn't they bring back Jordan? She at least has some personality. Seaver isn't unique at all. 4. You don't just introduce a new character in the 6th season, it's too late! I actually want to see CM renewed for a 7th season, but if they're keeping Seaver, I'll just watch ion. 5. An online petition has 55829 signatures. They all are against this and think that CBS is a b!tch. 6. I hope Rachel Nichols reads every comment about her interview. She probably doesn't even know what she's doing to us; maybe she'll get a clue and resign. 7. REID CAN FREAKING DO SO MUCH BETTER THAN HER.


seaver sucks. let's be serious. her dad is a serial killer so that makes her qualified? my dad makes cars so maybe major car companies should hire me as a consultant, or better yet, creative director or CEO. it's ridiculous. also: what is this about getting rid of prentiss? are you kidding? you are getting rid of JJ and Emily for creative reasons and you cast this soul sucking leech to replace them? i have no problems with new characters unless they suck as hard as she does. she has no personality, and her being there is beyond the realm of reality. she messed up the first episode and they kept her anyways? not likely.

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Criminal Minds Quotes

Hotch: A sniper can wait up to 72 hours without sleeping.
Mays: Seriously?
Rossi: That's part of their training. They can stay awake for 72 hours and remain completely focused on their target.
Mays: How?
Hotch: By using a mental exercise called "fantasy integration". A sniper creates a scenarios involving a target that keeps that person at the forefront of their mind.
Morgan: Often they'll imagine a place where they're with the target, doing something together that takes time. For example, building a car.
JJ: For some, the fantasy begins the minute they're assigned a target. Then nothing will distract them.

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