Paget Brewster Cast In NBC Pilot ‘My Life As An Experiment’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 19th, 2013 at 12:36 pm,

This Wednesday will mark the last episode of Criminal Minds to feature Paget Brewster as Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss. But don’t despair, Brewster fans; she’s already been cast in the lead female role on My Life As An Experiment, a sitcom pilot for NBC.

Brewster leaves Criminal Minds on a sour note. She’s the latest of a long string of central cast members to leave the show, including Mandy Patinkin, Lola Glaudini and A.J. Cook. With the exception of Patinkin and Glaudini (who left for their own reasons) the actors had their characters written out of subsequent episodes.

Cook will return Wednesday to help give Brewster’s character a proper sendoff, but that only emphasizes how the show is increasing becoming a “boy’s club” – even with the Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols).

The new NBC project is an adaptation of A.J. Jacobs’ essay collection Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life As An Experiment. The book chronicles the journalist’s experiences at Esquire and Entertainment Weekly, and their affect on his home life. Actor/comedian Jack Black is producing the pilot, with stand-up comedian Jon Dore playing the fictionalized version of Jacobs. Brewster will play his “feisty” lawyer wife.

My Life As An Experiment will be familiar territory for Brewster, who cut her teeth on comedic roles in the 1990s and 2000s. After breaking out in a brief arc on Friends, she made the rounds on various guest spots and pilots before landing her most public role on Criminal Minds. Wednesday’s episode, “Lauren”, will be her 101st on the long-running crime drama.

In an interesting twist, Brewster’s voice-over work may have prepared her for her new role on My Life As An Experiment – she played superheroine/public defender Birdgirl on Adult Swim’s Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law and had a memorable one-off role as an incompetent angelic lawyer on American Dad.

The new NBC show is in the pilot stage, but with Black and now fan favorite Brewster attached to the project, an initial season order is likely. Brewster has a contingency available to her: rumors around the TV industry indicate that CBS has offered her a reoccurring role on Criminal Minds next season if My Life As An Experiment doesn’t  pan out.

Source: TV Line

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  1. Good for her. She’s a likable actress who brought wit and doses of subtle humor into an otherwise bleak and cryptic show. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prentiss, I will say that her ending storyline has been the most watchable part of the past several episodes.

    • I am having a hard time seeing how she will be able to return to CM now, after she has been killed off. I know a lot of characters have been brought back from the dead before, but in a show like this I would think it would be hard to do that. I totally agree that CMhas lost a lot since losing JJ, and now Prentiss. I used to love the show, and granted Ill stay with it as long as its on, but why mess with something that has worked for this long?

      • Oh, c’mon Rob,

        They buried another empty box. I smelled that coming from the first commercials for part one. Emily was a spook – killing the person off is the easiest way to extract one from a UC assignment. We already knew that one of her UC identities (Lauren)was “killed” after the op against Ian was completed.

        When J.J. told the team she didn’t make it, she stopped Spenser from going to see her body and “say goodbye”. Also, Hotch wasn’t in the waiting room with the rest of the team and he didn’t join them when J.J. told them she’d died. Then he and J.J. spoke privately in the midst of their grief. That’s more than enough to indicate blatant spook action. The ending with J.J. in a sidewalk cafe in Paris passing an unidentified woman an envelope with three honest passports and bank accounts in it only confirmed it.

        I do have to say that they did her swan song episode quite well (if rather obviously) and much better than I expected. When they booted Glaudini off the show they did everything but kick her out with hobnailed boots.

        • thats true. That didnt click in for some reason!Well hopefully she will be back. They really do have to bring JJ back as well if they are going to be able to save the show going forward!

          • by the way, rob, i wanted to apologize if what i said seemed like i thought you were stupid or something. i sometimes forget that not everyone thinks like a “somewhat” paranoid spook. sorry, if i came across that way.

            • no worries. I just wasnt thinking at the time, haha, Im also a little slow on some of the stuff, I know where you are coming from, I didnt take it in any bad way!

        • LOL…..did you watch the hospital room scene? Hotch was right there with everyone else waiting and there when J.J. told everyone. :)

          • actually, he wasn’t with the others. he was in the next room watching j.j. tell them thru a window or door. then he and j.j. met in the corridor and spoke privately and it WASN’T about emily “dying” in the literal sense. their expressions showed that (and i read lips – pretty well anyway). it was pretty inevitable really, she was a spy before she joined the BAU and got out of that racket by “dying” once. it makes sense that she would do it again. the spook world tends to want to preserve its members for possible future use. it also makes sense for the producers to keep their emily options open; even if they’re stupid enough to get rid of her in the first place.

            • Was the scene watched?
              Actually, he WAS sitting in the waiting room with them Reid was pacing around and then sat by Garcia, Rossi was sitting by Seaver and Hotchner was sitting by Morgan. Not until after JJ announced her death he get up and walk into another room. This was while JJ was consoling Reid. JJ the let go of Reid and went into the room with Hotchner and they shared some words.
              At the cafe not only did JJ speak to a “mysterious dark haired woman” but when she gives this “woman” the document they stop at her hands! Showing the bitten nails even more so indicating this woman is Prentiss

            • So what did they say behind that door? I know that Hotch said: “I know.” but what did JJ say? I am thinking it was something like: “It is for the best” or something like that.

              • I think she said “Emily isn’t dead.”

      • did u not watch the end of the show

      • She wasn’t killed. In the end JJ is giving a woman a package and wishes her luck. The woman is Prentiss I am sure. That is why she will come back. I am guessing she has been called to duty by a group bigger than the FBI to finish something she was involved in before she joined the team. I wish I hadn’t missed the week before last. I will have to watch it online to get a better idea of how it all came down.

      • I say bring Prentis back and give blondie the boot! It was bad enough getting rid of AJ but did they think no one would notice being slipped a clone? When you have something that works stick with it!

      • Hey, on that episode they had a short scene where one of the team members gives something to a woman who you can’t see. It was an opening for Paget to be OK and return.

      • I thought they left the door open for her return, did I get it wrong? I thought that while the whole team was mourning her death, there was a scene in which someone handed a woman from behind a package, maybe containing a passport, money, identity? that along with the boss man not grieving like the rest I felt that only he could know. Am I off base here/

  2. This might be the last season of Criminal Minds for me…….

  3. i agree with you. the season 5 finale was rescued from true wretchedness by tim curry’s chilling portrayal – easily his most disturbing character. he was also the brightest spot in the first season 6 episode. however, the loss of the J.J. character made the rather lackluster storyline even duller and more disappointing.

    the only way that the CM powers that be could hork things up any more would be to bring in an uninteresting, inexperienced, cadet and so called “agent” whose daddy was a serial killer. oh, wait …

    seriously,as a “one off, the character (who’s name i don’t bother to remember) works (somewhat) but to then become part of the team? nah. particularly, since it has been stated several times (in Masterpiece, season 4, episode 8) than before he/she can join the BAU only after several (5?) years with the bureau. silence of the lambs aside, i don’t care if her father was jack the ripper and her mum was aileen wournos, this bimbo wouldn’t get tapped for the team when she graduated, let alone before.

    and now we hear that that they bumped paget brewster (emily prentiss) off the show too. there can’t possibly be a good reason for that. i’m glad that she has found another gig but i’m not a big tv comedy fan so i will have to get my “emily fix” from CM reruns.

    the show’s creators and writers seem to be developing quite a misogynist streak. what else can we be expected to think? an interesting, intelligent, confident female character with some darkness in her past is developed, becomes popular and identified with and accepted. what is the logical thing to do then? get rid of her, of course, and for what? to make the “boys” feel better, to get a little (very little) frisson of sexual tension? what’s next? garcia takes a leave of absence to take up nude, competitive flower arranging? bah!

    even bringing j.j. back won’t remove the “bad taste” in my mouth from this decision. if the series continues to devolve i suspect that i will find my way back to a & e and the history channel.

    in case i didn’t make myself clear; KEEP PRENTISS and BRING J.J. BACK!

    • oh, i so agree. what is it with procedurals ditching their strong female characters? CM is a team show. there doesn’t seem to be a runaway hero. each person is as integral a part of the show as the guy next to him. got rid of j.j. messes up the chemistry. get rid of prentiss and add the wimp, not only stops the chemical reaction, but blows the whole thing to h–l. writers listen to the fans and fix this mess before it’s too late. and oh, by the way, in my humble opinion, can the new one, suspect behavior.

      • I think Paget Brewster chose to leave because she prefers comedy. I don’t think the producers had anything to do with it. It was HER decision.

        • She was forced off the show. Google it.

        • Actually Paget did not want to leave, she loved to play an FBI agent…on her Twitter she said that she was upset but it was a done deal…CM felt like home for her!

          Paget Tweets:

          PS- I should clarify. I am immensely grateful. I’m still angry about AJ. I’m sad this is my last year. But I wanted to thank the fans…
          26 Jun Favorite Retweet Reply

          Thanks to all the fans. From me, AJ and the cast. We love you. We will always appreciate your support. You are kind and wonderful. KISSES!!
          16 Jun Favorite Retweet Reply
          paget brewster
          pagetpaget paget brewster
          “Creative Reasons” has been an Executive BS excuse for DECADES. It IS financial. AJ is a dreamboat. And yes, I am hurt, too.

  4. Well I hope she does well in her new role. I always liked her. She is a good comedic actress so she should be alright. She was always funny in “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”.

  5. When is the Pilot? Or when is it supposed to start airing?

  6. Reoccurring role why get rid of her to start with.This is the very reason I quit watching this show. Why the hell fix something that’s not broke. First Ms Cook then Ms Brewster. Good Luck ladies

  7. I agree that the show is definitely already lacking in the female character area with A. J. Cook off the show, and now the loss of Paget Brewster. I never heard why A.J. Cook left the show, but it seems that Paget is leaving to pursue a lead role in a comedy series, and that Criminal Minds “powers that be” are going to leave her with an option to return, should that not pan out. I did read that she was leaving due to A.J. Cook’s character being forced off the show, but have not been able to verify that. I am also less than thrilled with the new female character. She doesn’t seem to have the screen presence that the other female characters had. I have enjoyed the show, and am sad that I can’t look forward to the same line-up.

    • I could not agree more– I was glued to this series when I discovered it a couple years ago, & stayed up all hours watching Gideon, Hotch, Reid, JJ, Garcia, smokin’ Morgan & Co. The characters were so well-developed. I was riveted. Then Gideon leaves… Prentiss’ arrival revived the show, as did Rossi. Fabulous again, firing on all cylinders– it again became a “guilty pleasure” to watch 3-5 re-runs in a row, then wait for the new episode. The loss of JJ was the “beginning of the end.” The chemistry was disrupted. Nothing personal to “the new blonde,” but she doesn’t fit, & her “origin” is ridiculous, as stated above. The loss of Prentiss gives the show about 3 more episodes to prove it is worthy of my precious time. Wake up, Producers, you’re losing us, & we “pay the bills.”

  8. I just want Emily Prentiss back! I love Paget but Emily is my girl!

  9. Yay Paget! I can not believe she’s leaving Criminal Minds but I’m thrilled she’ll be on something new. I’ll be sure to check it out but… is it wrong that I wish she’d come back to Criminal Minds next season? Anyway, CONGRATS Paget! I wish her the best!

  10. What else can I say that hasn’t been said. All of you are right. It seems to me that all this is is a pissing contest. The men are threatened by the success of the lead womens characters. How trivial can one get. Why ruin a good thing? This is the very reason that the show “Bones” has gone down hill. They kill off people they shouldn’t and add people you hate. Then they change people’s personality. What do the writers think? That we are stupid and don’t pay attention to what they write. We as viewers could write better episodes than they have been lately. Bottom line, wake up and smell the coffee CBS….bring back JJ, and don’t let Prentiss go. You are stupid if you think this will make the show better. I hate to say this but if you don’t fix this, you will not be renewed for next years fall line-up.

  11. EMily Prentiss is not dead. You missed the last 2 minutes. SHe is in a type of witness protection. Only Hotch and JJ know


  13. I have been a fan of Criminal Minds for some time and I feel a sense of deep loss at the departure of Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss). The loss of A.J. Cook hurt; however, Brewster’s character was able to blend intellegence, emotion, integrity, and plain intestinal fortitude which complemented her male counter-parts. Though I must admit that I have a bit of a crush on Ms. Brewster, the fact that she is a consumate actor and a great credit to her gender are evident in her ability to give a life of its own to the part of Emily Prentiss. I shall miss you in Criminal Minds and I do wish you the very best in your new endeavor.

  14. I want her, and A.J. Cook back on Criminal Minds. Why mess with a good thing. Pay them what they want, and deserve.

  15. the episode last night was so lame i couldn’t stand it. it was bad enough when they got rid of j.j.. but if i rated the show at 85% then i have to give it a 25% now. if the writers and the hirers don’t do something drastic, the show is headed for the trash heap.

  16. sadly, I see only one more season, and thats about it for Criminal Minds, and thats unfortunate, because I think they could have had a 9 or 10 season run had they not played with the cast so much. Its the sign the end is near when they do this stuff. Ive seen it many times, and never has anything good come from it!

  17. Part of me wishes her well in everything she does but there is still a part of me that hopes she comes back to CM.
    Pag you’re so good in that rold! Don’t mess with perfection!

  18. I’m rather of two minds about Paget or A.J. coming back; on the one hand, I would be overjoyed to see the resurrection of one or both characters. however, on the other hand, considering how they (and other cast members) have been treated, I wouldn’t blame them in the least if they said, “What? Are you guys high, again?”

    Regardless of possible returns or departures one thing that HAS to happen is the removal of “what’shername”, uh, oh yeah, Rachel Nichols. The show could not be any worse without her and would almost certainly be vastly improved. An empty space would be preferrable to her presence. She is about as dramatically interesting as wet bread.

  19. I kind of hope that this show fails so and she goes back to Criminal Minds, with AJ coming back next season, Pagets return would make Criminal Minds become itself again.

  20. Has no one heard?????
    AJ Cook has signed a 2 year deal for JJ to continue.
    CBS has also offered Paget her role of Emily if her pilot fails. (I hope it does fail)
    If you don’t believe me about JJ check the twitter pages of AJ, Mathew(Reid) or Joe(Rossi)

    • no, i haven’t heard anything but then i’ve been fighting pneumonia for a couple of weeks and didn’t know it, so my hair could have been on fire and i wouldn’t have noticed.

      wonder if they did it on their own or if they actually pay attention to what the viewers think. either way,


      if it is what she wants then i hope that paget’s new gig works out. but i would hope that she returns to CM too.

  21. I want them both to come back, the show sucks without them. I don’t want an all male cast and I can do without “what’s-her-name”
    Good job with the spin-off CBS-IT SUCKS- cancel it and pay AJ and Paget what they deserve

    • I so agree, I want the old team back, and I do not like that new blond chick

  22. I want them both to come back, the show sucks without them. I don’t want an all male cast and I can do without “what’s-her-name”
    Good job with the spin-off CBS-I hate it cancel it and pay AJ and Paget what they deserve

  23. paget brewster, and a.j cook is already coming back

  24. I Think JJ Says “Emily’s Gonna Be OK” Then Hotch Says “I Know” :) I’m Really Good At Lip Reading! 😛