Criminal Minds: The real reason AJ Cook was absent for a few episodes

JJ was an integral member of the BAU on Criminal Minds, so his departure from his actress AJ Cook from season 6 of the series came as a surprise to many. Luckily it wasn’t for long.

Criminal Minds It was no stranger to rotating its characters, losing key players and going through a series of seasons where team members seemed to come and go in the same year. Many departures have become known, including the firing of Thomas Gibson after an alleged altercation and the early loss of Mandy Patinkin in disgust over the show’s content. However, one that often goes unnoticed is Jennifer Jareau’s departure and departure from AJ Cook.

AJ Cook’s JJ was an important part of Criminal Minds and his departure was shocking

As part of a mid-series shakeup based partially on budget constraints, Cook’s character was written off the show despite his seniority and through no fault of his own. What’s most interesting, though, is that she was brought back less than a season later. These are the on-screen and off-screen stories behind the departure of AJ Cook.

Despite being a pivotal member of the BAU team, JJ was written off the series for most of Season 6. The fictional reason was her forced transfer to the Pentagon, a cover story that obscures her real job in a task force in the Middle East. JJ had apparently been offered the Pentagon job several times before, though it’s unclear if those cases were also cover stories for a similar secret job.

However, the real reason for the actress’ departure was less dramatic. The studio was looking to cut costs, so it fired Cook and co-star Paget Brewster, who played the only other female field agent on the show. While Brewster stayed on for most of season 6, Cook was given two episodes to wrap up his story.

Although financial reasons were the most important factor in the decision not to renew the contract of AJ Cook, some speculated that she had chosen to leave because of the standard “creative differences” often cited when an actor and show part ways. Others saw her firing along with Brewster’s downsizing as a sexist decision. While Brewster stated that the network “wasn’t particularly nice to women” and noted her significantly higher salary and replacement actress, the generally accepted reason is strictly financial.

AJ Cook was absent for only a few episodes of Criminal Minds until the season 7 premiere

Fortunately, JJ was not gone for long. The season 7 premiere saw the return of AJ Cook and Emily Prentiss’s character from Brewster to BAU., and the former now has the necessary profiler training to join the team in a new position. His return was bolstered by the outpouring of fan support after the announcement of Cook’s departure: no one except the studio seemed willing to let JJ go.

A. J. Cook it remained as one of the leading roles for the rest of the show’s 15 seasons. Despite the potential for ill will between her and the network, the actress saw the support from fans as a silver lining and was able to build an ongoing career after the experience. While the situation was obviously less than ideal, corrections were quickly made and fans of Criminal Minds they were able to see JJ not only continue his story, but also grow in importance.

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Criminal Minds: The real reason AJ Cook was absent for a few episodes


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