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With nine seasons under its belt, CBS’ crime procedural Criminal Minds has seen plenty of casting changes over the years. Recently, the long-running series added veteran actress Jennifer Love Hewitt to its ranks. The former Client List star has signed on to join the Behavioral Analysis Unit in a regular role during Season 10.
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character won’t have her signature three names, however. Instead, she’ll play Kate Callahan, an FBI agent with plenty of experience in the field. According to THR, that experience will land her a slot at the BAU, where she will join Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), J.J. Jareau (A.J. Cook), David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness). If you noticed Jeanne Tripplehorn’s Dr. Alex Blake is no longer on the list, that’s because Tripplehorn’s character left at the very end of Season 9, guilt-ridden about Reid taking a bullet for her, as well as the earlier death of her son before the events on the show. At the end of the finale, Blake left her credentials with Reid, effectively ending her time on Criminal Minds. The show is pretty militant about its male to female ratio, so it's no real surprise they filled Tripplehorn's slot with Hewitt.
The actress has popped up on a lot of TV networks over the years, and unsurprisingly, this won’t be her first stint on a CBS show. Just a few years ago, the actress headlined The Ghost Whisperer, a supernatural drama that lasted for a solid five seasons on the network. More recently, Hewitt headlined The Client List, a Lifetime original drama that was cancelled after two seasons. At the time, the show’s ratings and an on-set disagreement were cited as the cause of the cancellation. The show was only cancelled in November, and it didn’t take Jennifer Love Hewitt long to sign on for a new role.
While it might seem like a step down to go from headlining a series to taking a gig in part of an ensemble cast, Criminal Minds should actually be a good fit. The long-running CBS series has made a name for itself by hiring prominent names in the business in the past, including Mandy Patinkin, Gibson and Tripplehorn. Hewitt’s name should fit right in with the other cast members. Additionally, even though she will be part of an ensemble cast, the move to Criminal Minds will take her from cable back to network TV, where far more eyeballs will get to see her each week. That may not be as cool as headlining your own show, but I certainly don’t knock her for it. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if she’s as convincing of a behavioral analyst as she was as a small business owner.
Season 10 is expected to premiere in CBS’ fall lineup on October 1, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET.