'Criminal Minds': A.J. Cook returning full-time

aj-cook-criminal-minds.jpgIt looks like JJ's absence from the BAU team on "Criminal Minds" will only be a temporary one.

A.J. Cook, whose character was cut from the show this season (save for a couple of guest appearances), will be back on the CBS drama next season. She'll guest-star on the season finale in May then return as a regular in the fall, Deadline reports.

Cook's departure stirred an outrcy among "Minds" fans. In the story, JJ left the BAU for a job at the Pentagon; she appeared in the first two episodes of the season and guested one more time last month in Paget Brewster's last episode (for now, anyway) of the series.

Brewster could still return next season as well. She stars in an NBC comedy pilot called "My Life as an Experiment," but if it doesn't get picked up, she's a good bet to continue on "Criminal Minds," as the show's producer, ABC Studios, still has a contract option on her services.

It's been a busy couple of weeks behind the scenes of the show: Executive producers Ed Bernero and Simon Mirren left the series last week (Mirren has a new deal at Sony, and Bernero has a pilot, "Partners," in contention at ABC). Erica Messer, who had been serving as a co-showrunner with them, will be the sole person in charge next season. Deadline also notes that ABC Studios is still in negotiations with regulars Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson for next season.

Photo/Video credit: CBS
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