Rachel is roughly as attractive as A.J. (although I still think A.J. has her beat), and a bit younger (but only by 1.5 years -- both are in their early 30s -- Nichols just turned 31; Cook will be 33 in July). But unless A.J. was causing some MAJOR behind-the-scenes headaches for the show-runners (pushing for more money than other players, insisting on unreasonable hours, etc.), then I see NO logic at all in replacing her with Rachel Nichols. NONE. NADA.
I came to this series a bit late, maybe third season, but I've probably seen every show since and certainly every one this year, and while I think Ms. Nichols is doing a decent job (and had a "standout" role in her first episode), she comes off as really sort of cold and impersonal a lot of the time -- like in tonight's episode with the crazy female narcissist.
I see they're trying to push Paget out the door, too. But then there's also late-breaking news they may have invited her back for next season (but she may be weighing her options for a new pilot, instead, at this point -- and who can blame her after THIS???). The ONLY good thing that could come from her "supposed" final episode is that A.J.'s supposed to make a return visit for it. But the way it's building up, while JJ WASN'T killed, it certainly looks like Emily very will MIGHT be.
Either way, I don't like this. I also watch the Top 25 ratings as published each week, and while CM WAS there just about every week, I haven't seen it there nearly as regularly since JJ left the show. Assuming they DID cut her character because Nichols would work for less money, it just makes not sense if it lost them more ad dollars due to lower ratings than they saved in salary (and I'm guessing it did).
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