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

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Although she fell shy the Gubler and Vangsness" tenure, Paget Brewster likewise had a respectable run. She joined the actors in the show"s second year and went on to invest ten periods as a collection regular, playing unique Agent Emily Prentiss. Regardless of the character ending up being an integral component of the Behavioral evaluation Unit (or BAU), Prentiss left the formation at the finish 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 step away indigenous the show for 4 seasons? as is periodically the instance with network procedurals, the actual reason is more complicated than it appears at an initial glance.


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CBS
In 2010, ahead of the season six premiere of Criminal Minds, a report native Deadline revealed that the display was planning a significant shakeup of its main point cast. Brewster and also fellow series regular A.J. Chef were both lined up with their heads on the chopping block. In its early report, Deadline cited resources who believed CBS to be looking to save money by, "trimming the female portion of the cast."


A resource close to CBS later on rebuffed that reporting, and also claimed the cuts were a an imaginative decision to store the present feeling fresh. A new character, agent Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols), was brought onto the present for season 6, may be to take the location of Brewster and also Cook. However, Nichols just spent one season ~ above the show, and after spending time in a diminished capacity, both Brewster and also Cook returned to Criminal Minds as full-time cast members.

Clearly, other else to be going ~ above behind the scenes, and in an interview with the AV Club, Brewster explained the actual reason behind she exit.


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


Brewster walk on to slam the network because that trying to repaint the decision as either gaue won or an imaginative in nature. Instead, she posited that her firing was rooted in a society of sexism: "I to be so soured by the suffer of being fired for no reason. Due to the fact that it wasn"t budget plan cuts. The human they had hired to change us obtained paid twice what we got paid! It"s a network that"s not an especially kind come women. That"s why a the majority of women leave those procedurals. Or are fired. It"s tough."

The decision was challenging for Brewster, that said, "I to be heartbroken. Ns was for this reason happy there. I loved anyone there, and it was conveniently one that the most hurtful things that"s ever happened, to it is in fired since they wanted "new women."" 


Apparently, she wasn"t the only person devastated by the decision. She revealed, "Our showrunner quit after ~ that, he to be so pissed off. He felt the he couldn"t operation his show after us were permit go."

Despite being let walk from the show at the finish of season 5, Brewster didn"t simply pack up and leave. Her agents managed to for sure for her the possibility to wrap up her storyline, and she was eventually kept on because that two extr seasons. After season 7, however, she do the difficult decision to leaving for good.


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CBS
Although Brewster loved functioning on Criminal Minds, gift fired left a poor taste in her mouth. She described feeling "forced" to come back for the two periods she appeared on after the notice was made, and ultimately realized she can no longer continue.


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

Other than 2 guest star stints, Brewster remained off the show until season 12. The finish of season 11 saw two major departures for Criminal Minds in the type of original actors members Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson, who was fired as result of his volatile on-set behavior (via Variety). As soon as the cast for season 12 was announced, it was revealed that — in addition to brand-new series regulars Aisha Tyler and Adam Rodriguez — Brewster would certainly be return to the show. She remained a continuous until the series" cancelation ~ season 15.

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Although Paget Brewster"s tenure ~ above Criminal Minds was definitely a bumpy ride, it appears that her love of functioning on the show and also her other castmates much more than comprised for the regrettably network decision that caused her leaving in the first place.