A.J. Cook: Possibly Returning to Criminal Minds Full-Time!

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After her unceremonious and dubious departure earlier this season, A.J. Cook is in talks to return to Criminal Minds this fall as a full-time series regular.

Cook, left the cast of Criminal Minds at the end of last season when her option was not picked up by CBS, sparking outcry among the show's loyal fans.

She then appeared in the first two episodes of this season to give closure to JJ, her character, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon.

Cook also appeared in Paget Brewster's (also the subject of contract controversy) final episode in March. But it looks like A.J. may be coming back to stay ...

A.J. Cook on Criminal Minds

BRINGING BACK J.J.? If CBS execs know what's good for them, they won't make the same mistake twice and let Cook - a "glue" character on CM - get away a second time.

As for Brewster, she is filming a comedy pilot for NBC, My Life As an Experiment, and will continue with that if it gets picked up. But if it doesn’t, she could be back too.

CBS has an option on Brewster for Criminal Minds and, if it exercises it as many expect, the network would reunite the whole cast, just as it was at last season's end.

Meanwhile, Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore are still not signed for next season, but talks are underway with the actors, whose deals are up at the end of this cycle.

Suffice it to say, these surprising developments, especially Cook’s potential return to the hit procedural, do not bode well for newly-minted regular Rachel Nichols.

On an unrelated note, executive producer Ed Bernero, who has run the show from the star, is leaving and will be replaced by co-executive producer Erica Messer.

What do you think of the surprise possibility of A.J.'s return? Discuss below.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Criminal Minds Quotes

The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation - James E. Faust

Lewis

Reid: There's an old Buddhist saying that, when you meet your soulmate, remember that the act to bring you together was 500 years in the making. So always appreciate and be kind to each other.
Lewis: That's lovely.
Reid: There's a corollary for friends. When you meet a true friend, you will be bound together though space and time for 500 years.