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Like Law & Order: SVU, CSI and Bones, CBS' Criminal Minds quickly found its voice not long after the 2005 premiere and has steadily been delivering like-minded story lines ever since, though its consistency has varied directly with several cast upheavals. It's not often you see a network show lose one of its two main stars, in this case Mandy Patinkin's Jason Gideon, and still truck forward without a noticeable loss in direction, but that's exactly what happened here. In addition, both J.J. Cook and Lola Glaudini have left, and it's been long rumored Paget Brewster would either be demoted to recurring or axed entirely. Finally, after months of speculation, CBS has given us some answers.

According to Deadline, Brewster is currently weighing some pilot options but will continue to appear as long as none of them get off the ground. In addition, Alias veteran Rachel Nichols has been offered a regular slot as FBI cadet Ashley Seaver. The character was originally slated for a three episode story arc, but with the serious lack of females, the movers and shakers have decided to expand. No word yet on whether she'll accept, but negotiations are reportedly progressing nicely. Regardless, the three episode block will begin airing next week.

Over the last five years Criminal Minds has quietly amassed solid ratings and an episode count of 123. It's already playing extensively in syndication, and it appears primed to continue into the near future.

Criminal Minds: Why The Major Cast Members Left

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