Rachel Nichols will be on CRIMINAL MINDS much longer than anticipated. TV Guide reports that Nichols, who was set to appear in three episodes of the CBS crime drama, has been promoted to series regular just ahead of her December 8 debut.
Nichols will play FBI cadet Ashley Seager, whom Agent Hotchner asks to consult on a case because her unusual family history gives her a perspective helpful to the BAU.
Criminal Minds was expected to sign a new series regular at some point this season to fill the void left by A. J. Cook’s (JJ Jareau) controversial departure this fall, but I’m surprised that they didn’t at least wait to gauge audience reaction to Nichols’ character.
Meanwhile, producers apparently asked Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss), whose workload was initially reduced to seventeen episodes this season, to appear in all 22 episodes, but she has declined so she can consider pilot offers.
What do you think about the cast upheaval? Are you ready to accept a new character?
Criminal Minds airs on CBS Wednesdays at 9pm eastern/8pm central. Nichols will first appear in the December 8 "What Happens at Home" episode.