Criminal Minds' Paget Brewster Lands First Lead TV Role Following CBS Drama's Final Season

paget brewster toasting at rossi's wedding criminal minds
(Image credit: cbs press)

Though she's often in some of the funniest shows on television, Paget Brewster will likely forever be most closely associated with CBS' Criminal Minds, which she's starred in for 9 of its 14 seasons. That killer drama is ending with Season 15, but Brewster already has a fabulous follow-up role locked down. She'll head up a Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law spinoff being set up at Adult Swim, fittingly titled Birdgirl.

That's right, Judy Ken Sebben is finally getting her chance to shine on her own without necessarily vying for any other Bird-related superhero lawyers' attention and respect. Birdgirl will see Paget Brewster reprising the voice role of Judy, who spent much of her time on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law donning the Birdgirl costume and trying to solidify her place as a sidekick, while also putting up with Peanut's weirdness.

The Birdgirl series will obviously change up that dynamic a bit in order to give Paget Brewster's monologue-spurting Judy more agency. She will now be taking over CEO duties at Sebben & Sebben, the absurdity-filled lawfirm-turned-corporation. Taking on such a massive duty is huge for Judy, and she'll need to find ways to balance her professional life with her life as a vigilante.

Much as Harvey Birdman had his unique cadre of employees helping him run things day to day – "Did you get that thing I sent ya?" – Birdgirl's central heroine will form her own Birdteam within Sebben & Sebben. And there's no better way to describe the team's situation than Adult Swim did in their announcement, so here it is:

By day, they try to drag the company into this century. By…mid-afternoon, they usually end up having to break a lot of things to stop something bad that one of them may have helped cause. It’s the sort of superhero team we get at this moment.

See, this is what happens when Avengers: Endgame comes along and punctuates a mini-era of superhero pop culture. We can't have nice things.

Birdgirl will be produced by Cartoon Network's Susan Shipsky, and directed by Rich Ferguson-Hull. The latter worked on over half of the spectacular Harvey Birdman episodes from its four-season run, as well as last year's one-off special Harvey Birdman, Attorney General.

Interestingly, Paget Brewster is the only star noted in the show announcement. That makes enough sense, considering she IS Birdgirl. But does this mean that no one else from the franchise will be around? The show might feel naked and lost if Gary Cole isn't around for a scene or two as Harvey. And how could we watch an entire Birdgirl series without Judy's father Phil Ken Sebben, voiced by late night great Stephen Colbert?

Granted, she might get hit on a lot less, since the eyepatch-wearing lunatic often tried flirting with his daughter whenever she was in her Birdgirl outfit. Just because he's the President now doesn't mean that kind of behavior has changed. (That said, it's not even confirmed if his and Harvey's newer positions from the Attorney General special will be intact for the spinoff.)

Birdgirl might not be the Criminal Minds follow-up that CBS fanatics were expecting for Paget Brewster, but the Harvey Birdman spinoff is one that will no doubt please those who adore the Hanna Barbera-embracing Adult Swim series. It might also make sense to fans who enjoy Brewster's work as Della Duck on Disney's solid DuckTales reboot. She also popped up in an episode of American Dad this year.

On the live-action side of things, Paget Brewster spent 2018 getting laughs on Comedy Central's historical farce Another Period, and she was also in the direct-to-DVD semi-thriller The Witch Files. Of course, she'll be seen portraying Emily Prentiss for her last batch of episodes when Criminal Minds returns to CBS for its fifteenth and final season. At least her future is looking animated.

Criminal Minds is only getting ten episodes when it returns to take on its final big bad, but fans can bet those episodes will be full of moments that call back to classic episodes. As well, it will likely tie up a lot of loose ends leftover in Season 14. It'll start off with a two-parter, so be sure to check it out to see where Paget Brewster's Special Agent ends up.

No release date has been set just yet for Birdgirl, but expect to hear more about it in the future. And in the meantime, check out everything else that's coming to TV for the summer.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.