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.

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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.

They mess you up, your mom and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had, and add some extra, just for you - Philip Larkin.