Over the food of that is 15 season run, CBS crime drama Criminal Minds observed many cast members come and also go. High file actors choose Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin, "90s teenager idol Jennifer Love Hewitt, and also Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn every had brief stints on the show. ~ above the various other hand, a couple of cast members have delighted in long tenures. For instance, Matthew Gray Gubler and also Kirsten Vangsness have actually played Dr. Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia for every 15 seasons.

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Although she fell shy that Gubler and also Vangsness" tenure, Paget Brewster additionally had a respectable run. She joined the cast in the show"s 2nd year and went top top to spend ten seasons as a collection regular, playing distinct Agent Emily Prentiss. Despite the character coming to be an integral component of the Behavioral evaluation Unit (or BAU), Prentiss left the formation at the end of the seventh season. Various other than a couple of special guest star appearances, she didn"t return together a main actors member till season 12.

What caused Brewster to action away from the display for 4 seasons? together is occasionally the situation with network procedurals, the real reason is more complicated than it appears at first glance.


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CBS
In 2010, ahead of the season 6 premiere of Criminal Minds, a report from Deadline revealed that the show was to plan a major shakeup the its core cast. Brewster and also fellow series regular A.J. Chef were both lined up v their heads on the chopping block. In its initial report, Deadline cited sources who thought CBS was looking to conserve money by, "trimming the female section of its cast."


A source close come CBS later on rebuffed that reporting, and claimed the cut were a creative decision to keep the display feeling fresh. A brand-new character, certified dealer Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols), was lugged onto the display for season 6, may be to take the ar of Brewster and Cook. However, Nichols only spent one season ~ above the show, and after security time in a diminished capacity, both Brewster and Cook went back to Criminal Minds together full-time actors members.

Clearly, other else was going ~ above behind the scenes, and also in one interview through the AV Club, Brewster described the actual reason behind her exit.


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CBS
In a wide-ranging interview about her career, Brewster told she side of the story to AV Club. First, she shared her recollection that the decision to take her and Cook turn off the show: " CBS had actually just called Ed Bernero <Criminal Minds executive, management producer> and said, "I want new women." So we were fired..."


Brewster go on to slam the network because that trying to paint the decision together either gaue won or an innovative in nature. Instead, she posited that her firing to be rooted in a society of sexism: "I was so soured by the endure of being fired because that no reason. Since it wasn"t budget plan cuts. The human they had actually hired to replace us got paid twice what we obtained paid! It"s a network that"s not particularly kind come women. That"s why a most women leaving those procedurals. Or space fired. It"s tough."

The decision was daunting for Brewster, that said, "I was heartbroken. Ns was therefore happy there. I loved anyone there, and it was quickly one of the most hurtful things that"s ever happened, to it is in fired because they wanted "new women."" 


Apparently, she wasn"t the only person ruined by the decision. She revealed, "Our showrunner quit after ~ that, he to be so pissed off. The felt that he couldn"t run his display after we were let go."

Despite being let walk from the show at the finish of season 5, Brewster didn"t just pack up and also leave. She agents managed to certain for her the chance to pave up her storyline, and she was at some point kept on for two additional seasons. ~ season 7, however, she make the difficult decision to leave for good.


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CBS
Although Brewster loved functioning on Criminal Minds, gift fired left a negative taste in she mouth. She defined feeling "forced" to come earlier for the two seasons she showed up on after ~ the announcement was made, and ultimately realized she could no much longer continue.


As she described to AV Club: "So ns did that last year, and then i said, "I love anyone here, however I establish now, having left, that my heart isn"t in it." and also that"s what they created for Emily Prentiss: They wrote Emily Prentiss saying, "Since I"ve come back, I"ve realized that my heart isn"t in it, and I desire to do other things.""

Other than 2 guest star stints, Brewster remained off the present until season 12. The end of season 11 observed two major departures for Criminal Minds in the form of original cast members Shemar Moore and also Thomas Gibson, who was fired as result of his volatile on-set behavior (via Variety). Once the cast for season 12 was announced, it was revealed the — in enhancement to brand-new series regulars Aisha Tyler and also Adam Rodriguez — Brewster would certainly be returning to the show. She stayed a continual until the series" cancelation after ~ season 15.

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Although Paget Brewster"s tenure ~ above Criminal Minds was absolutely a bumpy ride, it appears that she love of functioning on the show and also her other castmates much more than made up for the regrettably network decision that resulted in her leave in the very first place.