Paget Brewster, <i>Criminal Minds</i> Paget Brewster, Criminal Minds

Paget Brewster will return to Criminal Minds next season, while newcomer Rachel Nichols will exit the CBS drama, reports.

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Brewster's return follows that of fellow cast member A.J. Cook

. Both women's characters were written out of the show in Season 6 as a result of reported creative differences and budget cutbacks. Cook exited the show after two episodes, but returned midseason for Brewster's swan song and again in the season finale, setting up her full-time return next season.Brewster appeared in 18 episodes, and as a part of her deal, she had an out to shoot a pilot. She took a role on the NBC comedy pilot, My Life as an Experiment, but it was not ordered to series. ABC Studios, which produces Minds, has now exercised its option to have Brewster return to the show. With Brewster and Cook now on board, ABC has not picked up its option on Nichols, according to Deadline.

A.J. Cook to return to Criminal Minds

Meanwhile, series star Thomas Gibson has yet to sign a new deal to return to next year, though negotiations are ongoing. The only other star in question, Shemar Moore, re-upped his contract earlier this month.Reps for CBS and ABC Studios didn't immediately respond to's emails.Are you happy about Brewster's return?