Monday, June 14, 2010

What is CBS thinking?

In the category of 'What is CBS thinking?'

From Deadline Hollywood:

EXCLUSIVE: CBS’ Season 7 of its successful crime drama Criminal Minds is trimming the female portion of its cast for what I hear are financial reasons. I'm told the option of series regular A.J. Cook has not been picked up and co-star Paget Brewster is being made an offer to stay for only a reduced number of episodes next season, leaving fan favorite Kristen Vangsness as the only remaining full-time female cast member. I hear negotiations are underway with Brewster for a new deal that would keep her on the show. If she agrees, she will continue to be formally a regular but won't appear in every episode. Talks are also ongoing with Cook to possibly appear in several episodes next season to wrap her character Jennifer Jereau’s storyline.

Among the broadcast networks, CBS has been one of the most vocal about trying to rein in series costs, especially on its longer-running, more expensive dramas with large ensemble casts. Criminal Minds, which is produced by ABC Studios, CBS Studios and the Mark Gordon Co., has had seven regulars as part of its core cast. Staying on are Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler and Vangsness. With the exception of Vangsness’ quirky nerd godess Penelope Garcia, which has developed a strong following, the series has largely been perceived as a male-centered ensemble, with the boys getting most of the action.

Cook has been on the show since the first episode, joining after the pilot in 2005. Paget Brewster came on board nine episodes into Season 2, replacing original cast member Lola Glaudini. But aside from the Glaudini-Brewster switch and the forced replacement of original lead Mandy Patinkin with Mantegna following Patinkin's abrupt exit after Season 2, the cast on Criminal Minds has been pretty stable, with Gibson, Moore and Vangness all onboard since the pilot.

This past season, Criminal Minds spawned a spinoff, which has been picked up to series for midseason by CBS. That series, starring Forest Whitaker, is adding a new female regular cast member.

Why mess with a winning formula? Why would CBS even think of changing a cast that works so well together and that the fans love?

We at Criminal Minds Round Table are baffled, angry and VERY unhappy at this news!


  1. And there goes my support of the show. Really, the girls are that expendable? Guess I don't need to watch anymore. I WILL NOT WATCH THE SHOW WITHOUT PAGET AND AJ. Period, done. None of the men interest me, their storylines don't interest me, they have never given the women suitable, meaty juicy storylines. Fine, I'm out of here.

  2. i refuse to believe this is actually going to happen.

  3. This is such a sad news. So unbelievable. There goes the spin off for me.

  4. I can't fathom why the powers that be would mess with such a successful show. I LOVE all the men on the show, but getting rid of almost all the women is crazy. I can't see the show working without at least one female in the field. I would hate to see Paget's screen time reduced. Prentiss is a wonderful character!

  5. I can see the show doing fine without AJ. She's not a profiler, and she doesn't have the viewer love that Garcia does, so she's the obvious choice to leave. There are lots of background players in the BAU, and without JJ around, the press liason will just be another one of them. Not too big a deal -- which isn't to say she won't be missed, and that I'm not sad to see her go.

    That said, if a main "profiler" has to have his/her role reduced, I wish it were JM. PB is a distant second, admittedly, but JM, in my opinion, is already barely there -- the writers give him nothing to work with, his character started out promising but is now just kind of boring for me. I'm no Reid fan, but I can understand why he's there -- I just don't GET Rossi's role in the team, and think the team would be just fine without him. I like PB, even if her character isn't my absolute favorite, and hate that they're pulling out the only female profiler. Boo, hiss, etc.

    But I'll still watch. And I'm willing to bet -- not to invalidate anyone's feelings -- that most of the people whose knee-jerk reactions to this news is "I won't watch anymore" will continue to do so as well. Budgets are tight, and cuts have to be made... I just personally wish they'd been made differently.

  6. What an awful decision this is. I can't believe that they would treat AJ and Paget like this. I'm not sure what else to say. I don't think I can continue to support a show or a network that would do this to these two wonderful ladies and to their fans.

  7. CBS sent this show to it's deathbed.

    WHY would they continue to produce a spin-off when all that money could be going towards making CM better? seriously, WHY?! Pretty much everyone I talked to HATED the backdoor pilot and agrees with me in saying that it was the worst episode of CM ever. Surely Whitaker's role, him being an oscar winner and all, is much more expensive then AJ's.
    The spin-off is what's draining the show of it's money. And with AJ leaving, WHY would they reduce Prentiss' - another FEMALE profiler's - airtime? She is one of the best loved character's on the show! CUT THE SPIN-OFF, NOT JJ.
    It would be more understandable if Rossi's air time was cut. But not Emily's.

    Okay, and I AM admittedly grateful that it was JJ and not Prentiss, as she is my favourite character, but cutting the number of episodes she appears in and JJ's departure will seriously discourage me to watch this show on a regular basis. I probably WILL still catch an episode every now and again, seeing as it is/was my favourite program, but only as long as Prentiss is in it. It just will never be the same.

  8. Ok, I am pissed!! I really like Aj and I LOVE Paget. Why not just stop that stupid spin off which I already know is going to fail! I love Forest W. but his team was cold and I did not like them. I am beyond upset and to be honest I dont think I can keep watching CM especially if they do cut Pagets scenes!! One of the main reasons I love CM is the team and how they all work great TOGETHER! So now this show is all about the MEN well lets see how good they do with just the MEN!


  9. I am glad that Joe Mantegna was not cut. I agree that his character needs to be used more, but he is my favorite. He is the stabilizer/dad member of the team. Rossi quietly supports every member of the team. I could see TPTB cutting JJ, because they marginilize her so much in the last two seasons. However, Prentiss is a strong female character. She is the only female profiler. I'm shocked that they want to cut her screen time. I thought they might cut down Reid's screen time. He was barely there last season. Even MGG mentioned it in one of his tweets. I hope that this is not the begining of the end for my favorite show!

  10. I agree with what Anonymous 1:09 AM wrote, mostly. With this exception: Why cut anybody at all? Why mess with a show that consistently brings in awesome ratings, even against American Idol?? I understand budgets being tight, but if your budget is that tight, why bother with the new spinoff whose backdoor pilot was a complete and utter flop with the fans??!! Helllooooo, McFly.... anybody home McFly???!!! I am extremely disappointed and appalled that the CBS Execs would do this to A.J. and Paget. !!!!!!! I am so mad right now!!! Way to piss off your fans there, CBS. Like many others, I would like to join in yelling IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!!! Furthermore, I think it is greedy and disloyal to your employees to treat them with such little respect and loyalty after said employees were the ones responsible for making your stupid money-making show a hit money-making show in the first place. Have some integrity, CBS. Don't you remember what the backlash was like against NBC after they threw Conan under the bus? If you are that hard up on money please just scrap the stupid spin-off, because, even though I like Forest Whitaker, I am sure that he is requiring a pretty penny for his services. To add insult to injury, you are not only getting rid of A.J. but replacing her with another female cast member?? Oh HELLZ NO. Also, now you are saying these decisions were made, not due to financial reasons, but due to creative reasons?? I am calling BULLSH*T. Either your PR reps are trying to protect people from being pissed at the spinoff or you guys are st00pider than we thought. Budget cuts would have been a lot easier (though not easy at all, by any means) to swallow than purposefully just deciding to throw A.J. and Paget to the wayside. So, either you are JERKS for choosing the spinoff over A.J. and Paget, OR you are IDIOTS for getting rid of A.J. and Paget just to "shake things up". Way to go. Two thumbs down. I wish I was an Octopus so that I could give you 8 thumbs down (if Octopi had thumbs).

    IMPORTANT NOTE TO THE FANS: Please DO NOT boycott the entire season of the original Criminal Minds. This would put the remaining of our beloved cast and crew out of their jobs. Please do not do this to them. It is not their fault so let's not punish them.

    We support A.J. and Paget!! As well as the rest of the cast and crew!!! Don't break up our Criminal Minds family, CBS!!!

  11. Reading the news was a shocked for me at first and now I am revolted and appalled at the decision CBS took by ending AJ Cook contract and cutting down Paget Brewster’s appearing time on the best TV show there is on the small screen. This is an outrageous decision! This cast is the best cast ever seen on TV and the women that are part of it bring the balance and light that is needed in what is Criminal Minds, a dark TV show. The ladies characters are vital and AJ Cook and Paget Brewster have given their role such reality and credibility. We women are represented with such beauty, energy and professionalism. AJ and Paget show that anything can be possible for a woman in a world still so much ruled by men.
    Criminal Minds is a team show. A team whose strength is the bound they have on and off screen. They are like a family. That family has finally found the right members that go so well together so why mess with a winning formula? Why would you at CBS, even think of changing a cast that works so well together and that all the fans love so much?
    This time, you have made a colossal mistake, one that no CM fan will ever forget. We fought for Thomas and we will fight for our dears AJ and Prentiss. We love our team the way it is, Thomas, Joe, Paget, AJ, Shemar, Matthew and Kirsten. I’m a huge fan of Joe Mantegna but I need to see both men and women when I watch it. I need to see the equilibrium.
    Misses Tasler, sitting behind your “boss” desk has made you one of the vilest women. Come back from your power trip and join the reality of this world. It’s time to show some respect to the people who brings in what fills your pockets every week, the actors and those who work hard to make Criminal Minds what it is. You ahve shown how much you are not a family person.
    To those who are boycotting CM or planning on doing it, please think twice. By doing so, you are endangering the jobs of the other actors and the crew. So please, keep watching CM and show your support by sending email to CBS, signing petition, on Twitter and Facebook. Boycotting Criminal Minds will destroy Criminal Minds!


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