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. okay so everyoone has to like not watch my life is an experiment, because it can not become a sucsess because she must come back to criminal minds.

  2. I cant wait to see JJ Back I loved her :D Her and Reid were so funny and great together (as brother/sister nothing more) :) Its clear though that the character Emily will never be back because well straight forward…..SHE’S DEAD, she cant come back not now not ever :’( I would LOVE if Gideon came back, I say he cant cuz Rossi is there but It’d be cool if he still came even if Rossi was there :D That would be an UNREAL team :D

    • Exactly. I LOVED the way she was able to bind with Reid when he was younger and so much different. She was the warm heart that everyone could lean on and was always there for her team. Hell Reid’s her babys godfather they were so close. I’m a little afraid of what she’s going to be like after having worked for the pentagon (and then it seemed like for the state department, did anyone notice that during the season finale? Did the writers just screw up?) The old JJ would have NEVER lied to the team like that even the way she talks & dresses seems different. If Paget does come back it’s gunna be a shocker for the team and one hell of a suckerpunch to what they think about JJ and Hodge and why they didn’t trust them. BTW does anyone else think Rossi knows about Emily? Cause it was a little weird that he was the one meeting w/JJ talking abt the offer to come back and not Hodge doing it…

    • how can Emily be back if she was killed????

      • If you watched the end of the episode JJ was giving Emily papers so that she could be in hiding, the only way to save her life. There are pictures of her in a hearing in the upcoming seaon

      • She wasnt killed, they faked it because if emily was still alive and ian doyle new about it, the BAU and herself would be in danger.

    • I was in love with Gideon, and the look on his face when he was forseeing something. No one like him!

    • Emily isn’t dead, she had to pretend she was to protect herself and the team from Doyle.

  3. A.j is back. Thank you. Now criminal minds is back.


  4. Yoooohhh Emily Prentiss returned to the show, I love her very much

  5. Im sooooooooooo happy JJ is back! i can not wait to watch season 7!!! And i wanna know more about the new JJ and her relationship with Hotch!!!!!! I so excited!!!!!!!

  6. I can’t wait to see dr. reid again… he’s so handsome and have awesome ideas…I’M DELIGHTED JJ COME BACK the team without her and PRENTISS is incompleted………PRENTISS COME BACK!!!!

  7. WHY ? are women treated so savagely and simply tossed out on Criminal Minds? I cannot think of another show in recent memory that treated it’s
    women characters so badly. Please, a little respect. The American Public generally likes predictability and switching on week after week to find only new cast is unnerving, to say the least. Paget Brewster and A. J. Cook BOTH played their roles extremely well. This seeming sexist attitude will not fly. And, no, I do not want a male character just “dumped”, either.

  8. Very good. A J Cook is coming back!

  9. JJ is irreplaceble, she is an asset for the show!

  10. yay! I love jj sooooo much im super glad she’s back for 2 more :)

  11. JJ Welcome back

  12. can anyone tell me when series7 starts in the uk

    • the new series will start on oct7 at 9.00pm on living

  13. Finally they do the rite thing and bring back A.J Cook :) Her depature is the reason I stopped watching which woz once my fav show! If it’s true that she’s comin bak, there’s no way am gonna miss an episode ever again! :D

  14. so pleased that a,j,cook is back in crimal minds she should ofnever been let go.

  15. Ok so what about Reid saying that he didn’t request reinstatement into the unit in episode 1 of season 7? If they take Reid out I totally won’t watch the show anymore!

  16. Howdy all!! So glad JJ, and Emily are back! Now if Gideon returned, we’d be back in business!!

    Anyways, does anyone know when season 8 is going to start? Will it be next September?

    Thanks, mike

  17. Series 7 just started here in the uk at episode 11 ?? Prentis is back, great but how and when. feel we have missed out on ten episodes.

  18. YEY LOL


  20. Matthew Gray Gubler got bad handwriting so if he wants i can teach him to write his signature better if he wants lol

  21. i dont get why they got prentiss back just to take her out of the show again

  22. I’m happy JJ is back. She is the only one in the series that is having a successful marriage. I hope that siever stays on. Even if she only has episodes from time to time. The fact her father was a serial killer gives her more experience than anyone.

  23. if brewster doesnt come back there is a 95% i will never watch this show again

  24. I LOVEEEE Criminal Minds i cant wait for season 8. This is one of the best shows around and ive been so obsessed with it. defo cant wait!

    • I know right I ,llloooooovvvvveeee criminal minds it’s my favshow 2 it’s amazing

  25. Jj and ried would be perfict together but she is married kids know I’m only 12 with the mind of a 20 year old

  26. my personal opinion? I think that Morgan is in love with emily<3 did anyone else see the way he looks at her? When she said that she wanted to get the house so it would make her feel like she had solid ground, i swear theyre gonna end up together and he's gonna be her solid ground! i've been wanting SOME romance between characters for a long time.. it was bound to happen. i stopped watching when J.J left, and if emily leaves for the second time, i think that will be the end of me watching.. i think its stupid that they're just dropping characters like its not a problem.. it could eventually cost them the show-which would suck because this is my favorite show ever!! MORGAN+PRENTIS <3

  27. This show is the bbbeeesssttt show eeevvveeerrrr

  28. Does anyone know when series 8 starts in the U.K?

  29. I love CM I and my family look forward to every Weds. night Keep on CM we love it!!!!!