Criminal minds and the ultimate fuck up that are the cast changes, the bulletpoint edition.
(because people seem to want a post listing it all, and this is what happened)
During the hiatus between seasons 5 and 6.
- AJ cook’s contract to return to the show is not picked up after it finished at the end of season five.
- Paget Brewster’s contract is reduced by the network to only 7 (possibly 8) episodes to conclude Prentiss’ involvement in the show. At this time Paget’s contract for the show does not run out until the end of season six but the network chose to reduce her episodes.
- Both of these changes were billed as ‘a cast shake up’ to invigorate the show by CBS.
- AJ had to fight to get two episodes to wrap up JJ’s character on the show. they wanted her gone immediately with little to no consideration that the writers were in the middle of a two part episode.
- Paget was left negotiating the number of episodes she’d be in.
During the filming of season six
- A massive petition was created on the internet demanding that CBS reverse it’s decision to fire AJ and Paget. The petition would go on as the season progressed to get 50,000 signatures.
- Support for both actresses was through the roof. CBS’ name was pretty much dirt. Fans of the show were absolutely furious at the ladies being deemed unnecessary and cut from the show and were not quiet about their displeasure. Both women said how thankful for the support they were on twitter.
- It was announced that Rachel Nichols would be joining the show.
- Blame shifted, somehow, from CBS who made the sexist decision to change the cast to poor rachel Nichols, who received some of the most galling abuse i’ve ever seen an actress receive on the internet (and i’ve seen a lot).
- While filming the season, CBS seemed to realise how pissed the fans were. Their original decision was that Prentiss would only be in a handful of episodes in season six, but as they realised their pretty fatal error they kept adding more and more episodes to paget’s contract, effectively dragging her through the dirt. she would have had zero opportunity to plan any other work because of their indecision and messing with her contract. Leaving her stuck without the opportunity to find work and not knowing how long she would be staying at CM.
- Ashley Seaver is introduced into the show. Due to CBS dragging paget into more and more episodes, both characters end up in the show together, an overlap that was not intended.
- Due to Prentiss’ presence this far into the season, Ashley Seaver’s story is pushed straight onto the backburner and all focus is put onto Prentiss’ exit arc and the fallout from it with the team’s grief.
- As a result, Seaver gets little development for her presence in the show.
- Before Lauren was filmed, Paget Brewster, showing she was completely done with CBS and how it treated her like dirt, told the writers she wanted them to kill Prentiss off to avoid ever going through it again. The writers were willing to listen to her but were overruled by the network and they were forced to film the ending scene to Lauren where we see Prentiss is alive and living in exile in Paris.
- After Prentiss’ exit rachel Nichols is asured she will be in season seven of the show.
- In the last week of filming for season six AJ Cook is rehired to the show. AJ has stated that she was angry with the network, but with a young child at home the stability of a local and regular job was convenient to her situation and signed back on for another two year contract.
Hiatus between seasons 6 and 7
- Rachel nichols is still being told she will return for season seven of the show.
- Paget Brewster starts tweeting angrily about loving random things, like free will. The fandom starts to worry at what CBS have done this time.
- 2 days later it is announced that Paget Brewster will return as a regular cast member in season seven.
- Paget is still pissed off.
- One day after the Paget announcement CBS releases that rachel Nichols will not, as previously assured, be returning for season seven of the show.
- CBS never bothered to inform Nichols that they’d fired her. She found out from Seaver fans on her twitter account while on holiday.
- Paget lets slip (read, deliberately tells people at every chance she can get) that she did NOT want to return to the show in season seven because she’d had enough.
- CBS had threatened to sue her for breach of contract if she did not return, details were sketchy, but it seemed like they used that she never completed the last year (she only filmed s7 episodes of s6) from her previous contract as reason to say that, if she refused to return she’d be backing out on a legal document and she had no choice but to go back.
- the cast is back to as it was in S5
Paget works through her year on the show and announced mid February that she intends to leave at the end of season seven.
- Jeanne Tripplehorn is hired in her place to play Alex Blake and signs a 2 year contract.
- The fandom throws pretty much any misogynistic ageist abuse they can towards alex/jeanne demanding to have paget/prentiss back while completely ignoring that Paget did not want to be there at all.
- As season 8 drew to a close, contract negotiations came about. MGG and Tripplehorn were the only ones not in negotiation.
- Moore signed on first. Mantegna, Gubler and Gibson followed on, gaining directors privileges as well, dragging their negotiations to the deadline.
- Cook and Vangsness refuse to sign off the bat also, not for perks like the men, but because of severe pay disparity. Moore, Mantegna and Gibson were all, at the time earning $120,000 per episode. Cook was earning a mere $50,000 per episode for the exact same job, Kirsten’s exact sallary was never reported other than to say it was low. The men were earning over $70,000 per episode than the women and CBS were refusing to even slighten the gap.
- Recognising going it alone was probably a bad decision, both actresses banded together and outright refused to sign on for another season unless they both got a rise. Who can blame them with a pay disparity of $70,000.
- In the last days leading up to the deadline CBS finally gave in and they reached a settlement, both actresses signed on at the last minute (along with the actors, except for moore who signed on a week or two earlier) before the deadline. Their sallary increases, nor the details of the male cast members’ contracts, were not reported.
- Towards the climax of the season, it’s announced that one of the characters will be leaving us forever. Or something equally as faux dramatic.
- As the only two cast members with contracts set to finish at the end of that season were Matthew grey gubler and jeanne tripplehorn, fandom assumed either of the two would be leaving.
- The season 9 finale came and Alex was the one leaving.
- There was no bts information available about her exit.
- TVGuide .com, a website owned entirely by CBS corporation who have before printed open lies about the previous cast changes on this list, were the only ones to release an article on it. It said jack all, basically. just that Jeanne was leaving.
- An interview with Erica messer is printed that is almost exactly like the one that happened when they killed off jayne Atkinson’s charcter. What a surprise.
- nobody on cast or crew will comment on jeanne’s exit.
- Leading up to the climax of the season, alex blake had been given an arc of a surviving unsub (blood relations) that was left unsolved for future reference.
- The last episode where she was written out, negated canon and came from nowhere.
- A lot of fandom suspect that the only thing CBS has learned about shitty misogynistic treatment is that they should hide it.
also: Kirsten found out she’s lost her job on suspect behaviour through twitter, too.
and the worst thing about this list?
I’m sure there’s stuff i’ve forgotten over the years.