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

They mess you up, your mom and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had, and add some extra, just for you - Philip Larkin.


Hotch: A sniper can wait up to 72 hours without sleeping.
Mays: Seriously?
Rossi: That's part of their training. They can stay awake for 72 hours and remain completely focused on their target.
Mays: How?
Hotch: By using a mental exercise called "fantasy integration". A sniper creates a scenarios involving a target that keeps that person at the forefront of their mind.
Morgan: Often they'll imagine a place where they're with the target, doing something together that takes time. For example, building a car.
JJ: For some, the fantasy begins the minute they're assigned a target. Then nothing will distract them.