Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, A.J. Cook
[SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains spoilers about the Season 8 finale of Criminal Minds. Read at your own risk.]
Jeanne Tripplehorn just wants you to like her — or her Criminal Minds character, at least.
The Big Love alum will return to TV Wednesday on the CBS drama (9/8c) as new BAU member Alex Blake, and all she can think about is what will happen after the episode is over.
"The fan base is huge for this show and I am honestly nervous about what they will think of Alex," she tells TVGuide.com. "A show bringing somebody new in on the ...
Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer wants to assure you that Jeanne Tripplehorn's Alex Blake will not stir up trouble in the BAU.
Criminal Minds scoop: Reid is getting a girlfriend!
Tripplehorn will make her debut on the Season 8 premiere, filling the void left by Paget Brewster's Emily Prentiss, who exited in the season finale. And though Messer previously described Alex as a "threat" to the team, she clarifies that it's merely a case of a newbie joining a tightknit group.
"Anytime there's a very close coworker environment, as we have here, it's hard," Messer tells TVGuide.com. "There's just a natural hesitation to accept, but in that friendly way. She certainly doesn't have an ulterior motive or anything."
What else can we expect from Alex? Get the scoop on her and more below.
Although Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) never got together on Criminal Minds, executive producer Erica Messer planned their final scene for fans who always hoped they would.
"It always felt like in a different time and place maybe those two could be together ... There was always a connection," Messer said this weekend at the ATX Television Festival panel, moderated by this reporter.
Keep reading for more from Messer about replacing Brewster, how John Mayer got axed from the season finale, and who the writers dream of having on their team next year.
Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer knew very early this season that she wanted to do something out of the ordinary for the season finale.
Finale Preview: Get scoop on 39 must-watch season-enders
"I wanted to ground it with our team and I wanted to end with the idea that good things happen to good people," Messer tells TVGuide.com. "Our team puts up with all this crap from horrible people all year long, so let's actually celebrate them. We see so many bad images all season long, can't we just have our heroes be happy and smiling and dancing? We knew early on there would be a wedding at the end, not an SUV explosion [like in the Season 3 finale]."
James Morrison, 24
Question: Do you think the powers that be at Fox would ever consider giving Jayne Atkinson and James Morrison a 24 spin-off series? Bill Buchanan and Karen Hayes really need to be in the same room before the end of the day. My friends keep saying it's too early for me to start obsessing over this, but if it's going to take her four to five episodes to get to L.A., she needs to get those airplane tickets soon. (PS. You look a lot like my international relations teacher.)
Answer: This question came in before last week's twist, in which Karen was forced to resign and requested to be flown, via military transport, back to CTU. Part of Bel's wish has been granted: a Karen-and-Bill reunion. But a spin-off? Not likely. Characters like these are lucky to make it from season to season, and carrying their own show would truly be too much to ask. And what would you call a 24 spin-off anyway? "12"? "48"? Not a good idea. (And is looking like your teacher a good thing? I almost fear asking. ...
Question: Any 24 scoops before it returns in January?
Answer: You probably heard that Broadway vet Jayne Atkinson has replaced Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf in the role of Homeland Security official Karen Hayes, who is sent to CTU to clean up a "situation." I hear Metcalfe wasn't coming off "forceful" enough in the dailies.
With Season 5 now less than a month away, Fox's 24 has announced two more hires: Two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson will fill the role of Homeland Security official Karen Hayes, while Tony winner Stephen Spinella will play her subordinate, Miles. These additions, mind you, are in addition to Connie Britton as Jack's new honey, Sean Astin as a CTUer, Julian Sands as a baddie named Bierko, Jean Smart as President Doofball Logan's wife, and Peter Weller and JoBeth Williams as a federal agent and his wife. These new folks are so gonna steal time from my "Chloedgar" romance, aren't they?