A. J. Cook Returns To ‘Criminal Minds’ For Season 7 & 8

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:03 pm,

aj cook criminal minds A. J. Cook Returns To Criminal Minds For Season 7 & 8

After negotiations with Criminal Minds producers, former regular A. J. Cook has agreed to return for two more seasons. Her character Jennifer “JJ” Jareau will return to the show for season 7 this fall.

Speculation about Cook’s return began last week, after series executive producer Ed Bernero announced that he was leaving Criminal Minds. She won’t have been gone long – Cook only left the show last year, at the beginning of season 6. She signed on to play the JJ character for at least two more years after the writers and producers came up with new story ideas for her character.

The casting situation on Criminal Minds has been hectic (at best) these last few years. Cook left at the begining of Season 6 and co-star Paget Brewster left 6 months later. Joe Mantegna stepped in to take Mandy Patinkin’s spot in season 3, and Brewster herself took over Lola Glaudini’s spot as an SSA after season 1. Rachel Nichols currently plays Ashley Seaver, pulling double duty covering the female roles for both Cook and Brewster.

Speaking of Nichols: it’s unlikely that she’ll stay on after Cook returns. While the plot of Criminal Minds certainly has room for another FBI agent, CBS’s budget probably won’t. Unless something happens behind the scenes, I would be surprised to see Nichols make a graceful exit early next season.

Returning Cook to her normal role is a big win for fans of the crime drama. The constant casting changes haven’t sat well with viewers, or for that matter, cast members. And if certain conditions are met, Cook may not be the only one coming back…

Rumors of Paget Brewster (who plays Emily Prentiss) returning have yet to be verified. Supposedly the actress will wait for news on My Life As An Experiment, a pilot project in which she plays a leading role. If NBC picks up the comedy for a first season, her hands would be full, but if the project dies in the pilot stage, Brewster may come back to Criminal Minds.


Criminal Minds airs Wednesday nights at 9PM on CBS. The season finale airs in May.

Source: TV Line

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  2. They’ve had too many cast changes over the years. I like it best when, Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook are on!

  3. pleased about AJ COOK- I like all of the original cast and miss Paget Brewster. Keep the male actors please


    • I agree – she is great

      • Agree too.

        No one can replace her.

  5. Why do you keep messing with perfection? The Criminal Minds castis fantastic, they all need to continue as their team mates need them & we all need them. What a great cast, they are all so well meshed & we need Padgent Brewster back too.

  6. Hi,I really hope for criminal minds to keep all of Actors, we like it with those specific Actors, and we feel that’s all of them togethers make a good CONECT in the show… That’s give a reflex on us as a viewer it’s very important for us No one leave the show, or this wonderful show will end up just like two and half man. Thank you.

  7. Bringing back Emily Prentiss would be wonderful.
    She completes the team.

  8. I know that the group that you have now is the vest, most adoring, cohesive group you’ll get, allowing also for the return of Emily.
    I think if anyone leaves right now, you’re going to lose the majority of audiences, myself included!
    They’ve become viewe’s families. We care for them. They fit together.
    Aida BLentin

  9. bring back emilly pleaseeeee