Criminal Minds Criminal Minds

Rachel Nichols has yet to make her Criminal Minds debut, but apparently producers already like what they see.

The former Alias star has been promoted to series regular on the CBS procedural, Deadline reports. Nichols originally signed on for a three-episode arc and will make her first appearance in the Dec. 8 episode. She will play Ashley Seager, an FBI cadet with an unusual family history who Agent Hotch (Thomas Gibson) invites to help consult on a case.

Check out photos of Rachel Nichols

Criminal Minds announced plans to bring on a new female series regular sometime this season after the exit of original cast member A.J. Cook in September.  

When Cook's departure first was announced, fellow cast member Paget Brewster's role was also reduced to 17 out of 22 episodes. Brewster was subsequently asked to appear in all 22 episodes, but opted to work the reduced number of episodes so she could field offers for other pilots.

A.J. Cook, Paget Brewster returning to Criminal Minds, but for how long?

Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.

Are you excited for Nichols to join the show?