ABC’s CMA Awards (4.8/12 in adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers) was unshaped last night by going head-to-head with another music performance program, Fox’s The X Factor. The CMA Awards were actually up a tenth (2%) in 18-49 from last year to hand ABC a nightly win in 18-49 and total viewers. X Factor (3.7/10, 10.1 million) posted a 5% decline from its fast national last week. CBS’ lineup also was pushed down by the country awards show. Survivor (3.1/9, 10.6 million) was the hardest hit, down 11% in the demo from its fast national last Wednesday, when the veteran reality show was adjusted up in the finals to a season high. Criminal Minds (3.4/8, 11.3 million) was down 6%, CSI (2.5/7, 10.1 million) down 7%. NBC’s rookie Up All Night (1.8/5, 4.8 million) was even with its series low last week, while veteran Law & Order: SVU (1.9/5, 6.6 million) was down 5% to a series low. But the series that bridges them, Harry’s Law (1.3/3, 7.1 million), climbed 18% to match its season high. Will that help the sophomore clinch a back episodic order? The legal dramedy was once again the most-watched program on NBC.
EXCLUSIVE: This was close: After lengthy and rough negotiations, Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson just signed a deal to return to the veteran CBS drama only two weeks before it is scheduled to begin production on its upcoming seventh season. I hear Gibson has signed on for two more years in a deal worth mid-to-high seven figures, plus a signing bonus, with the actor more than doubling his previous salary. The difficult negotiations with CBS, CBS Studios and ABC Studios created some jitters in the Criminal Minds writers room as the show’s scribes have been breaking stories and working on scripts for next season for almost a month now without knowing for sure if Gibson’s character, Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, will return. With Gibson and Shemar Moore set to come back and Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook rejoining them,
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.
A.J. Cook In Talks To Return To ‘Criminal Minds’ As Regular, Paget Brewster May Be Back Too, While Ed Bernero Is Leaving
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.