CBS’ long-running crime drama Criminal Minds once again is going down to the wire in securing the cast (and in this case a renewal) for next season. I’ve learned that after a long pause in the talks, Criminal Minds stars Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook, whose deals are up at the end of this season, received final offers from producer ABC Studios and CBS on Friday. I hear the studio and network put a clock on the negotiations, which have to conclude by end of day tomorrow for the series to get renewed. I hear leads Gibson and Mantegna, whose re-signing is considered crucial to the the pickup, are close to new agreements though sources caution that no deals have been made yet, while Moore is deep in negotiations but far apart on the money.
Meanwhile, I hear fan favorite Vangsness and Cook have turned down the offers, and with the clock ticking, it is unclear whether the two would come back next season. I hear the duo, who are negotiating together, have decided to take a stand on the treatment of female cast members on the show as the two have consistently been been paid less than half of what all of their male counterparts — not just stars Gibson and Mantegna — are making. With the new offers again positioning them well below all other cast members, I hear Vangsness and Cook are willing to walk if they don’t get some parity with their co-stars. Read More »
Vik Sahay has joined A.J. Cook, Simon Quarterman and Brian J. O’Connor in WER. The werewolf film follows the investigation into the murder of an American family in Paris. Sahay, best known for his role in NBC’s Chuck and more recently seen on the big screen in American Reunion, portrays a lead member of the investigative team. The Devil Inside’s William Brent Bell is directing. WER is shooting in Bucharest, Romania. The film is produced by FilmDistrict, Sierra/Affinity and the Incentive Filmed Entertainment Fund. Sahay is repped by Don Buchwald & Assoc./Fortitude and Evolution Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: JJ fans can rejoice. After a week of negotiations, A.J. Cook just closed a two-year deal to return to CBS’ drama Criminal Minds as a regular. She will guest star in the series’ sixth season finale on May 18 before re-joining the show full-time in the fall.
Cook departed Criminal Minds after the end of last season when her option was not picked up, stirring outcry among fans of the show. She appeared in the first two episodes of this season to wrap the storyline of her character JJ, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon. Cook then returned for the last episode of the season for co-star Paget Brewster, which aired last month. If Brewster’s NBC comedy pilot My Life As An Experiment does not go to series, she will also likely return to Criminal Minds in the fall since series’ producer ABC Studios has an option on her. Cook’s return to Criminal Minds does not bode well for newly minted regular Rachel Nichols, who was brought in to fill the void left by Cook’s departure. Meanwhile, ABC Studios is yet to close new deals with original cast members Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore for next season, with negotiations continuing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Potential great news for Criminal Minds fans: Co-star A.J. Cook is in talks to return to the CBS crime drama next season as a regular, and she may be joined by Paget Brewster. Meanwhile, executive producer Ed Bernero, who has run the series since the start, is leaving, with another Criminal Minds veteran, executive producer Erica Messer, taking over as the sole showrunner.
Cook departed Criminal Minds after the end of last season when her option was not picked up, stirring outcry among fans of the show. She appeared in the first two episodes of this season to wrap the storyline of her character JJ, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon. Cook then returned for the last episode (for now) of co-star Brewster, which aired last month. Speaking of Brewster, she is filming a comedy pilot for NBC, My Life As An Experiment, and will continue on the project if it goes to series. But if it doesn’t, I hear Criminal Minds producers ABC Studios/CBS Studios have an option on her for the show and, if they exercise it as many expect, that would bring the cast of the show back to the way it was at the end of last season. The developments, especially Cook’s potential return to Criminal Minds, do not bode well for newly minted regular Rachel Nichols, who was brought in to fill the void left by Cook’s departure. Cook got an offer to return to Criminal Minds late last week after the series’ producers recently came up with ideas for JJ for next season. Despite her exit from the show, Cook and her character continue to be extremely popular among Criminal Minds fans. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Nichols is in negotiations to join the cast of CBS’ Criminal Minds as a series regular, the show’s first new regular addition since Joe Mantegna took over for Mandy Patinkin in 2007. Nicholson was originally tapped for a 3-episode arc, which will begin airing next week. CBS had said it would add a new female regular cast member this season following the departure of original co-star A.J. Cook. The character Alias alumna Nichols will play, FBI cadet Ashley Seaver, had been originally listed as a new regular but was eventually scaled back to 3 episodes. Seaver will first join the Behavior Analysis Unit when she is invited by Agent Hotch (Thomas Gibson) to consult on a case after learning her family history will bring a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer.
Meanwhile, I hear Paget Brewster has been asked to return to a status of a full-fledged regular on the show but will weigh pilot offers. Following the cast upheaval on the veteran CBS crime drama over the summer, Brewster was offered to return to the show this season as a regular but in reduced capacity, appearing in about 17 of the series’ 22 episodes. As part of the new deal she signed, Brewster was given a “pilot out,” meaning she could do a pilot for a new series while on Minds this season. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Quirky FBI computer technician Penelope Garcia may be pulling a double duty this coming season. I hear that CBS has approached Criminal Minds co-star Kirsten Vangsness to also appear on the upcoming Criminal Minds spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, on a regular or recurring basis. The network is already employing such cross-pollinating on NCIS and its spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles. Rocky Carroll, regular on the original series, also recurs on the spinoff, playing the same character, NCIS director Leon Vance.
With her multi-colored hair, sassy attitude and street smarts, Garcia is one of the standout characters on Criminal Minds with devoted following. The network no doubt hopes her popularity among Criminal Minds fans would give a boost to the new series, slated to launch in midseason. Because of the mostly stationary setup – her character spends most of her time behind her computer desk – I hear Vangsness usually works one day a week on the mothership series and could fit in filming scenes for the spinoff too. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior stars Forest Whitaker as Cooper, a former star profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit who now runs a team that exists outside of FBI bureaucracy. Janeane Garofalo recently joined the cast of the series as a new female lead, a highly competent FBI agent on Cooper’s team.
Criminal Minds made headlines last month with the network’s decision not to pick up series regular A.J. Cook, who will wrap up her character’s … Read More »
It’s a case of good news/bad news for Criminal Minds fans, who had been rallying to keep co-stars A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster on the show. Brewster just closed a deal to return to the veteran CBS crime drama, and she will be in the majority of episodes next season. But I hear it will be her last season on the show. And Cook, whose option for next season was not picked up, will be gone after wrapping her character’s storyline in 2 episodes early in the season.
I hear Brewster’s pact is for “10 out of 13″, which means that, extrapolated over the 22-episode season, she will be in at least 17 episodes. The actress had been approached to continue as a regular on the show but for a reduced number of episodes; now the reduction seems to be pretty small. Meanwhile, Cook this afternoon tweeted the news that she will be doing two final episodes of Criminal Minds next season. “Thanks for your undying support but it’s a done deal,” Cook wrote. “Excited for what’s next.” As planned, Criminal Minds will introduce a new female regular sometime next season.
UPDATE SATURDAY 1PM: Brewster today also took to Twitter to comment on the resolution, hinting that the fans’ campaign, including an online petition that has gathered more than 42,000 signatures, may have helped in keeping her on the show for so many episodes … Read More »