Criminal Minds is bringing back a familiar face, and fans are going to be very happy.
Paget Brewster, who was a series regular on the CBS drama from season two through seven, will return as SSA Emily Prentiss on a permanent basis in season 12, weeks after Thomas Gibson was fired following an on-set altercation with a writer.
“We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time,” executive producer Erica Messer said in a statement.
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The news is more of a promotion for Brewster, who was already slated to return to Criminal Minds for a multi-episode arc. She’s since returned to the BAU for guest spots, most recently following Shemar Moore’s departure in season 11.
Brewster’s first episode back as a regular has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Gibson, who has played BAU Unit Chief and SSA Aaron Hotcher since the series began in 2005, was fired from Criminal Minds after he allegedly kicked a writer in the leg while filming a scene.
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“Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date,” read a joint statement by ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios issued on Aug. 12.
Gibson released his own statement after being ousted, saying that he had hoped to see the show until its natural end.
"I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 years," he said. "I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won't be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and, most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have."
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Back in March, Moore -- who played FBI Agent Derek Morgan since season one -- left the door open for a potential return to Criminal Minds, telling ET after his final episode, “Last night was not goodbye. Derek didn’t die, so anything is possible.”