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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  1. I havent watched CM in awhile
    The casting craziness bugs me, but the writing has really taken a dive
    since they fired 5 of their best writers during The Writer Strike.

  2. I am so glad to hear A.J. is coming back and I hope Pagent does too. I miss them both. The show just isn’t the same without them. Shemar is a must. He is a hunk!

  3. YAAAAAAAAA!!!! Amazing news 😀

  4. awesome

  5. FINALLY!!!-I am thrilled that JJ is coming back and we need to get Emily back ASAP!!! It was a HUGE mistake to let them go and Seaver is just painful to watch.

    Let’s get back to the BAU we know and LOVE,LOVE,LOVE!!!

  6. Thank goodness!!! I miss JJ and Emily … the show is seriously lacking without them.

    Hope the writing also improves next season. This year (aside from the Prentiss storyline) has been just “okay” for me. Nothing special.

    Can’t wait to see JJ back … keeping fingers crossed for Brewster to follow suit as well.

  7. If they kill of Rachels character just because AJ comes back it will just be another in the line of unprofessional things they have done. She must stay it would be the right thing to do for all parts

  8. what do you know about CBS budget huh?
    and isn’t it ABC studios that produces CM.
    If they sacked Rachel CBS will look so immoral. Agree here with Mike it would be the right thing on all accounts

  9. to keep her

  10. They can kill off JG on the spin off CM and put Seaver in her her place if they have to keep her on the payroll.

    Or she can just move on.

    Thank goodness J.J. and Prestiss are back.

    Happy to know that Ed is leaving and Erica is taking over. She is the brain behind the series.

  11. I am so happy JJ and possibly Emily is coming back. I was putting Criminal Minds on my “not to watch list” for next season

  12. it’s about time someone and cbs woke up and realized that getting rid of jj and emily was one of the most stupid things they could do. the show just wasn’t the same, we stopped watching it cause they got rid of the heart of the show. JJ was the one that dealt with the families and that was something that the guy’s just didn’t handle like she did. when she comes back and hopefully Emily too,that’s when we will start watching the show again. glad you are coming back A.J. COOK and hopefully you also Paget Brewster.

    • Now, if they would just somehow get Mandy Patinken to come back would be the best decision of all time !

  13. I’m so glad aj is comin back as jj but in Australia prentiss hasn’t left yet. I don’t think she can’t come back because of the way her story ended up. Her character left in a way that I personally don’t think can enable her to return. I will miss her though. She was a good character and they need someone to fill her place as he female agent because jj and Garcia aren’t actually agents.

  14. I think jj is great I’m glad she’s comig back but they can’t bring Emily back coz it was like she left for good when she did leave. They really need Seaver to go though she’s horrible I hate her.

  15. plzplzplzlpz let paget’s pilot go bad no offense to her but we all miss her and A.J I hope and PREY she will come back

  16. Bring paget back! Show’s not the same without her and JJ!


  18. I was very upset when she left, Emily, for me it was all about in this series, I hope very much that she would return, because she is not dead, just gone.
    Bring back Emily Prentiss!!!!!!!!!

  19. I have been a huge fan of Criminal Minds from day one. The character of J.J. is one of my favorites. The current cast is definitely not the same with out A.J. Cook. I did hear from reading this web page that Shamar Moore and Thomas Gibson have not renewed their contract. I sincerely hope that they do, it is about time this show got back to business and gave the fans what they want, and that is the characters we have been used to since the beginning of season 3. Please stop trying to fix something that was so obviously not broken. Thank you, J. McCarty

  20. If Hotcher and Morgan don’t come back in the new season it would the ruination of the show. Love JJ, Emily, Reid, Garcia too. Don’t mess with the show except the writing which seems to have been off for this season.

  21. Love JJ and Emily! I’m Happy that JJ is Coming Back! It’s not the same with out her…Now, I’m very excited 😀

    • I am so glad JJ will be back, I really missed her. I really hope Emily comes back too,it is not the same without either of them. Then I read there were problems with Hotch’s and Derricks contract, and I decided to stop watching. I hate being jerked around. How stupid to ruin a good show shame on CBS. but if JJ is back and possibly Emily too it will seem like the old team is back, WOO HOO!

      • I soooo agree to that…the show is getting ruined by throwing everyone around, they just need to keep all the same good ones they have been b4 jj and prentiss left! please I love this show and I love he cast!

  22. I’m so happy that JJ is coming back! Her and Penelope have always been my favorite! I’m kind of sad that Emily had to leave but I never really liked her so oh well. I love criminal minds; it’s my favorite show and I hope CBS keeps making new episodes!


    • Amen, my reaction was kill off a fan favorite and replace her with another blonde? Wtf like any fan is going to appreciate that. CM is still a hood show but w/o JJ it isn’t GREAT. She’s the only normal person on the team and has always held the team together. Felt like there was a giant JJ shaped hole in the show and that new girl couldn’t fill those shoes if she tried.


  25. Im so happy jj is coiming back, i hope prentiss comes back as well, i just love them 2 dearly and CM is not the same wiithout them….

  26. I’m glad that J is back, but Emily I love more, come back please

  27. Really glad 2 hear JJ is coming back cause i do like her but much prefer Emily, she was sassy and tough. It’s a shame it took them so long 2 give her a decent story line tho, hope she returns. Also soooo good that we’ve got at least another 2 yrs of CM, awesome :)

  28. Since this is the only decent show on tv I am thrilled to hear they are coming back. The cast is outstanding and would not want to see any of them leave. The original cast made this show the outstanding show – keep them all !

  29. Does anyone know if morgon gona be leaving the show

    • Morgan is staying

      • He is staying ! Jazus it wouldnt be the same if my sexy beast left!! >:(