CBS President Defends Criminal Minds Casting Moves, Says Paget Brewster's Return is Actress' Call

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Making the media rounds this week, CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler touched on many kept subjects at the network, including the upheaval on Criminal Minds.

Echoing earlier sentiments from the network, Tassler said the hugely unpopular departure of A.J. Cook and diminished role for Paget Brewster were mainly creative calls.

"I wouldn't say it was just a budget reason," Tassler said. "I would say that over the past couple of years, many shows take a second look at adjusting their casts."

Prentiss Pic

Will Paget Brewster stay beyond this spring?

One catalyst to take that second look? The Criminal Minds spinoff.

Development of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which premieres Wednesday, February 16, led producers to take stock and reconsider the original team, Tassler said.

"There's opportunity here with the spin-off to look back at the original show and say, how can we evolve some of the roles of the agents in the original," she said.

While Cook is gone for good, Tassler says the show hopes to keep Brewster in place, albeit in a slightly reduced capacity. Whether she accepts is the actress' decision.

"We hope Paget stays with the show. She has the opportunity to stay. We'd like her to continue on with the show. But across the board there are discussions about cast members. It is the nature of the creative evolution of any show."

The show recently introduced Rachel Nichols as a full-time cast member.

What do you think? Is the show better or worse off now than a year ago?

Tassler also said she is concerned about Charlie Sheen's conduct of late.

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


I was happy to see. AJ back, now we need Paget back!!! I can, t understand why you messed with a great cast & characters; seems to be the 'in' thing & I hate it!!!


So glad J.J. and Emily returned to the team after being let go. But now Emily (Paget Brewster) has left again and the show is suffering. Jeanne Tripplehorn is not a good fit for the show!!!!!!!!!! You had a "winning team" finally, with Mandy and Lola gone, and the addition of Emily and Rossi. Please stop messing with success. The show is sucking!


I used to look forward to Criminal Minds each week and the interaction of all the characters, not anymore! You have forgotten about the viewers completley. The new fill in which is all she is may be an accomplished actress but she doesn't fit in with the whole interaction of the show. She is blah and her character acts like she has been there for a long time. I see the end of this show coming soon. At least find a fill in that can bring something to the show. In fact it would have been better if you didn't replace the role at all.


Rachel Nichols is HORRIBLE. My favorite show just seems to be going downhill all the time. I do handle Prentiss' character being gone, but JJ was a key character, and very talented. I hope she stays on a regular basis.


Nice going boys. It took me a month to realize that the new gal wasn't AJ. Why not hire someone that looks like Paget just to round out the new season?


Bring Paget Brewster back!!!!!! I agree with all the other postings, i.e., CBS pls. stop fixing what ain't broke and I'm glad JJ is back, but I haven't heard anything about bringing Prentiss back or if it's true that Thomas Gibson may be leaving. (He's probably tired of all the mid-level executives monkeying with thwe show.) And as for Seaver's character - the writers should have her Dad break out of prison. He tracks her down 'cause he can't stand the thought of his progeny being one of the good guys. She kills him, despite being wounded in the ensuing confrontation. She's so freaked out that she's killed her father that she has to leave the BAU. The End!!! And that makes room for Prentiss to come back!!! yeah!!!


Never mine AJ & Emily; my beef is with Garcia's boyfriend - he is sooo fine but why did they cut those sexy curls off for?! Man did they mess his hair up; that aside I say update his position to that of profiler. Now that would be an improvement!!


CBS . . . you suck, seriously cm is thee best show out there and you go and ruin it by "fixing" it way to go dumb ass BRING BACK PAGET AND AJ Honestly i am not joking i am the voice of many when i say bring them back or i will no longer follow the series !!!!!!>=| *evil eyes cbs president*


I'll tell you exactly what they think they're doing. They are corporate morons who feel the need to leave their "mark" on a show that is fine as it is. They are insecure and need to make it seem they are actually doing something to earn their exorbitant paychecks, and to feel like they actually matter and have some input. So, they convince themselves that these are intelligent decisions. They are ocmpleteley out of touch with reality. Anyone with a brain can see that the show did not need "fixing". Unfreakingbelievable. Nothing kills a good show better than network executives.


There are some shows that can interchange characters and it really doesn't matter. Criminal Minds is not one of those. Once a storyline is built around a tight-knit group of people and spent so much time building their characters and relationships, producers cause a huge break or hole by removing one of the links. We have invested many seasons into these characters and how they interact with each other. Taking them out one at a time will cause damage that will cause the demise of the show. People don't care about the plot anymore because they can't relate to the new people.

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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.