‘Criminal Minds’ Cuts Back On Female Cast

'Criminal Minds' A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster (CBS)

'Criminal Minds' A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster (CBS)

I venture to say this news isn’t going to go over well with many ‘Criminal Minds‘ fans: As the CBS crime drama heads into its sixth season, a movement is underway to trim the female cast, for financial reasons.

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A.J. Cook, for one, isn’t having her option picked up for the coming season, says Deadline.com. Worst case scenario: We have seen the last of JJ Jareau, who has been part of the ensemble since the episode following the pilot. There is, however, a chance that Cook will return for a few episodes to wrap up her storyline.

Paget Brewster, meanwhile, has been asked to return in a reduced capacity, though she may get to retain her “series regular” status. Brewster joined the procedural as Emily Prentiss midway through Season 2.

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The above moves – which are part of a larger, CBS-wide bid to cut costs on long-running shows with large ensembles – leave Kirsten Vangsness (who plays computer-savvy Garcia) as the series’ only full-time female cast member.

The timing and gender-themed nature of these trims is unfortunate, coming as they do on the heels of CBS canceling its only female-driven series: ‘Old Christine,’ ‘Ghost Whisperer,’ ‘Cold Case’ and ‘Accidentally On Purpose.’

‘Criminal Minds’ male cast includes Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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