Emily Prentiss fans rejoice! Paget Brewster is returning to Season 12 of Criminal Minds as a series regular. It was earlier reported that Brewster would return as a guest star, but Executive Producer Erica Messer confirmed that Brewster will be back full-time.
“We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time,” said Erica Messer in a statement. “The BAU family has definitely missed her, on screen and off. Having her back on set has been great, it’s like she never left.”
With two original cast members leaving over the past year, fans will gladly welcome a familiar one back to the BAU for more than a handful of episodes. After a physical altercation on set a few weeks ago, Thomas Gibson was fired after playing Aaron Hotchner for 11 seasons. Last season, original cast member Shemar Moore left the role of Derek Morgan.
Other recent casting changes include the additions of Adam Rodriguez and Aisha Tyler as series regulars. Rodriguez will portray FBI Fugitive Task Force Agent Luke Alvez. Tyler has been recurring as Dr. Tara Lewis since Season 11.
Since leaving Criminal Minds in 2012, Paget Brewster has appeared in two additional episodes. Brewster returned for the 200th episode in 2014. More recently, her return in 2016 was bittersweet, as it softened the blow of Moore's departure but it was only for one episode.
Viewers last saw Emily Prentiss in Season 11 as an Interpol Agent. There is no word on how Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner will exit the BAU. Hotch could be written off in a variety of ways, from being kidnapped to being killed or choosing to spend more time with his son, Jack. No matter how Hotch leaves, it will definitely shake up the team. There is a possibility that Prentiss could fill the soon-to-be vacant position of Unit Chief in the BAU. Or the position could be filled by an existing team member. No matter who fills the position, viewers will enjoy seeing Prentiss reunited with JJ, Garcia, Rossi and Reid.
Season 12 of Criminal Minds debuts on September 28th and Paget Brewster's return begins on October 12th. Make sure to tune in to see what's in store for Emily Prentiss and how Aaron Hotchner exits the show.