Criminal Minds: Why actress AJ Cook left the series and would not return to the reboot

AJ Cook appeared in just two episodes of the sixth season of Criminal Minds and then left the crime drama. The reasons for her departure were never very clear and the Paramount + reboot would not have her on the list either.

For 14 seasons, A. J. Cook appeared on our television screens in Criminal Minds as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, media liaison turned criminal profiler for our favorite FBI BAU squad. AJ Cook’s character was an integral part of Criminal Minds, but for exactly one season (minus one additional guest appearance, more on that later), the actress wasn’t on the show and her character wasn’t with the crew. .

Criminal Minds: Why AJ Cook left the series

2010 was, frankly, a bit of a messy year for Criminal Minds. Along with Cook’s sudden departure announced at the end of Season 5, Paget Brewster, who played Emily Prentiss, endured a series of contract dramas that also jeopardized her spot on the show. While time ultimately vindicated both actresses as they returned to the show to end it – AJ Cook with season 7, Brewster much later with season 12 – until the series finale, it’s a bumpy bit of history nonetheless. .

Any die-hard fan of Criminal Minds will point to the family energy of the BAU team as what kept them coming back year after year more than the brilliance or brutality of any killer of the week. The cast would also agree. here’s why A. J. Cook had his brief exit from Criminal Minds, how it intertwines with his co-star’s departure, and why he ultimately returned.

There were two alleged reasons why the actress briefly went her separate ways with Criminal Minds: the traditional “creative differences” model and cost reduction reports. On June 14, 2010, news broke that Cook had been “fired” from Criminal Mindsand the producers had “opted not to pick up” her contract for season 6.

Criminal Minds: Will the actress return for the revival of the series in Paramount +?

At the time, some fans denounced the apparent sexism in question, arguing that executives thought only one woman in the cast of Criminal Minds would suffice, but Cook’s departure came with the assurance that she would be replaced by another actress from the cast. that turned out to be Rachel Nichols as Ashley Seaver, who only appeared for one season.

Although Brewster stayed on for that season as well, the episode count on his final contract was dropped, and he did not return for the seventh season. For the next five seasons, the show had something of a revolving door for a third female co-star, eventually landing on aisha tyler as Tara Lewis beginning in season 11. She became a full-time cast member alongside Brewster’s return in season 12, until the series finale.

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Criminal Minds: Why actress AJ Cook left the series and would not return to the reboot


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