As first reported by Deadline, Criminal Minds fans will have to bid farewell to Emily Prentiss, as Paget Brewster is once again exiting the series at the end of season seven. Reports say the actress has been interested in trying new opportunities and chose to depart the series when her contract expires in May.
In the summer of 2010, news broke that Brewster and her Criminal Minds co-star A.J. Cook had been fired from the CBS drama. Despite fan protests that the powers-that-be revisit their decision, Cook exited in the second episode of season 6, while Brewster stayed on through most of that season to wrap up her character’s arc. Prentiss was written out in the season 6 episode “Lauren,” when the agent faked her death and went into hiding to escape from foe Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy).
Fans were thrilled when it was announced that both Brewster and Cook would return full-time for the show’s seventh season and the BAU team would be reunited. But last month, Brewster told TV Guide that she was brought back when the network told her she had one year left on her contract. Though the actress expressed happiness to be back with her friends and co-stars, she was uncertain of her future with the series.
Criminal Minds show-runner Erica Messer and co-star Thomas Gibson both expressed their support of Brewster’s decision. Brewster has been with Criminal Minds since season 2 and both she and her character have become very important to the series and the fans.
Personally, I will be sad to see Brewster go, but we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it was her decision this time around.
(Image courtesy of CBS)