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Paget Brewster leaving 'Criminal Minds'

After seven seasons on CBS’ Criminal Minds, Paget Brewster is leaving — and it sounds like it’s for good this time.

EW has confirmed the actress will wrap up her time on the series after this season. (Deadline.com first reported.) Brewster, who plays the role of Emily Prentiss, said via her Twitter account that deciding to leave the show was “hard choice.” She adds: “I love everyone at CM and the fans! I just couldn’t ignore my gut feeling. It’s time for something new.”

Last March, Brewster’s character exited the show but a window was left open for a return when it was revealed that her character had faked her death. This season, she — along with costar A.J. Cook — both returned to the show full-time, pleasing longtime fans who had been critical of the pair’s respective departures.

Just last month, executive producer Erica Messer told EW that she was hopeful Brewster and costar Matthew Gray Gubler would be retained next season, which has not yet been officially announced, as both were in the process of renegotiating their contracts. “This year I’m doing a lot of hopeful thinking,” Messer said of planning the two-hour finale. “The studios and network have stood behind us and said how much we mean to them and how much they love our show. I feel really strongly that we’ll be able to have this team back together again because it’s obvious they work well together. We’ve had one of the strongest seasons we’ve ever had this year and a huge, huge part of that is because all of our actors are here.” It is not yet known if Gubler will return.

Thoughts, readers?

Read more:
‘Criminal Minds’ in the Spoiler Room
Paget Brewster left ‘Criminal Minds': Too soon? 

'Criminal Minds' scoop: Boss talks tonight's 150th episode. Plus, will the team stay together next season?

Going into tonight’s milestone 150th episode of Criminal Minds, executive producer Erica Messer was in a difficult position.

To mark their 100th episode, the show brought back one of its most terrifying villains to date, C. Thomas Howell as the Reaper, and concluded with the death of Hotch’s (Thomas Gibson) wife. A big episode to say the least. Fifty episodes later, Messer was tasked with marking the occasion in another big way. But how? “We knew nothing was going to be as big as the 100th was for us, with Hotch and the Reaper and Haley being killed. We also knew nothing was going to be bigger for Prentiss (Paget Brewster) than what we’ve already done,” she tells EW. “It felt false to revisit [Emily's story] in a traditional sense and more about just touching base on what she’s been going through off screen.”

And that’s exactly what the episode does, while also tying it into the crime of the week, in which a woman seeks revenge on a man who is re-victimizing women he’s attacked before. “The journey within the episode is: Is this woman who was raped years ago so damaged from the trauma that she’s remembering it wrong? Is the man that she’s holding captive really innocent? Because if that’s the case, then this is a horrible crime and she’s becoming just as bad as a monster herself,” explains Messer. The headscratcher of an episode, she says, drew an important parallel to Emily’s story. “In the theme of a women being re-victimized by her offender, that is absolutely what happened to Emily. We really wanted to write to that and that she could identify with those other women like no one else on the team could,” she says. READ FULL STORY

'Criminal Minds': Thomas Gibson and Shawn Hatosy tease tonight's 'emotional' episode, Hotch's (possible?) new romance

With its brutal crimes and usually warped unsubs, Criminal Minds is rarely for the faint of heart. But tonight’s episode is intense on a different level, says guest star Shawn Hatosy, who plays a washed up boxer with a sick child.

“He calls himself The Doormat because he’s the kind of fighter that other fighters use to climb up the ranks,” says Hatosy. “But he keeps fighting in particular because his son is dying of cancer and he’s also got some mental issues which emerge through all of this.”

For Hatosy, who also stars on TNT’s Southland (“You know me, I always play a cop or I play a killer. This is just one of the weeks when I’m playing a killer,” he jokes.), it was fun to play a “level 10″ crazy unsub who also empathetic. “I would say the stuff that he does, it’s pretty crazy. But what the writers have done an excellent job of, at least from my point of view, is tyou can almost identify with him — except for the fact that he’s a killer. But bad people don’t know they’re bad, but you try to identify that truth. And  he is so connected to his kid — its really a very emotional episode. It was a very heart wrenching. It’ll really tear your heart out.”

Meanwhile, the episode will also find Hotch (Thomas Gibson) connecting with a fellow runner (Bellamy Young) after he starts training for a marathon. “I think they have really nice chemistry, and there’s a really nice thing that happens between them,” says Gibson. But, he cautions, no one should call it anything more than it is — for now.  “They’re training partners and it all that it is right now. And it’s nice to see the possibilities because the poor guy needs a little bit of positivity in his life besides his son.”

The connection Hotch shares with Young’s character is an important step for the character, who hasn’t had a love interest since his wife’s death a few seasons ago. But it won’t come easy. “He says to her in the scene where they meet, ‘I’ve got 40 minutes a day.’  He tries to eat on the run, but he literally only has the time it takes him to get from the office to the park where he trains, the time it takes him to get back, and the time to train. The man is fairly regimented and he’s got this regimented time frame. He’s trying to make the best of it, and it’s commendable that he’s trying to take on something else.”

'Criminal Minds': Kirsten Vangsness teases Garcia-heavy episode, Jack Coleman's 'creepy' guest spot

As Criminal Minds fans will recall, one of the most revealing Garcia eps, “Penelope,” taught us a lot about the BAU’s most colorful member. But tonight’s powerful episode, “Hope” — finds Garcia helping the gang locate her missing friend (Brigid Brannagh) — will show us a different aspect of the character, according to Kirsten Vangsness.

“It’s not like ‘Penelope,’ where you learned facts about her,” she says. “Everything you find out from this episode, you learn in terms of her behavior — how she handles herself under stress and how she handles herself when she has to do something that’s not in her wheelhouse. That makes it interesting.” That’s not to say there aren’t some interesting revelations. READ FULL STORY

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Glee,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'American Horror Story': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Awwww. Y’all know what I realized this week?

It’s been just about one year since we first started our show-mance (and I mean that quite literally). Our mutual love for television has brought us together and I couldn’t be happier about it. So many thanks for your readership, harassment, and love. Sometimes, it all even came rolled in a single e-mail. Crazies after my own heart — I love it.

So I hope you enjoy today’s installment and the comfort of knowing that you’re now officially my longest relationship ever. Woo!!… I think.

Also, celebrate by sending me more questions and ponderings. (E-mail: SpoilerRoom@EW.com or Tweet: @EWSandraG) You’re great people and I appreciate you. Happy Anniversary!! (Note: It was officially last Saturday, but in the grand tradition of all my relationships, I forgot. So we can celebrate now!)

‘GREY’S ANATOMY': KIM RAVER TALKS TEDDY’S GRIEF
So, readers, was Grey’s Anatomy not the most heart-wrenching thing ever last night? I was consoled only by the fact that I was sure there were other people somewhere bawling along with me. But aside from leaving me with puffy eyes, the episode also left us all with a burning question: What’s going to happen to poor Teddy? Well, when I spoke with Kim Raver, she weighed in on what’s next. “It’s like the time-bomb waiting to explode,” she says. “I know that she doesn’t just dissolve into a puddle on the floor. It’s not that kind of grieving. I know she will go into ‘Let me try to fix it’ mode. But we don’t know how long that will hold.” READ FULL STORY

'X Factor' gives Fox a nightly win; 'Suburgatory' welcomed into 'hood with open arms

FOX’s two-hour broadcast of The X Factor (3.9 rating/11 share) gave the network a win among adults 18-49, growing by 41 percent over the course of the night. The network’s already bragging that this marks the first time in Fox history that it has won the first two Wednesdays of the season — which could say more about the competition and less about Simon Cowell, but time will definitely tell.

Numbers are based on early results, which means X Factor could see improvements with the finals that come in this afternoon. READ FULL STORY

'Dexter,' 'Fringe,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'The Vampire Diaries': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

System failing. Too much TV. Abort! Abort!

Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed by all the amazing television this week? Well, buck up, sissy pants! Fall TV is not for the weak. It’s for the bravest, strongest, most wonderfully reclusive individuals. Together we will conquer.

That said, I need your help. Be sure you’re sending in your scoop requests, sharing your TV ponderings, and telling me your general shows of interest so I can make sure I’m filling your need for scoops during this hectic TV time. (Send e-mails to spoilerroom@ew.com or follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG) Until next week!

(Side note: In case you missed it, we also had a special Emmy scoops edition earlier this week that you can read here.)

DEXTER REVISITS THE PAST IN AWESOME PREMIERE

Last season of Dexter ended with the door open for anything to happen. Lumen lost her darkness and left, Dexter had taken down the season’s villain, and there was even a small note of optimism on his part that he could one day live without his own darkness following him.

On Oct. 2, we pick up with Harrison starting pre-school and Dexter very much at peace with his darkness. And, dare I say, enjoying it again.

Without ruining too much (because I honestly felt incredibly psyched by the premiere and want you to experience it for yourself), much of the episode centers around Dexter tracking down a potential victim at his 20th high school reunion. There, we not only get a great picture of who Dexter was as a high school student, but also get a good laugh out how his classmates perceive him now. (He’s… popular!)

We’re also introduced to Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos’ demented characters. I can happily report that the first murder they are responsible for is one of the most disgusting ones I’ve ever seen on the show. Congrats, newbies! READ FULL STORY

'Criminal Minds' boss on team's reunion in season 7 premiere, 'emotional aftermath' to come

Before we talk about the season 7 premiere, I offer my advance apologies. The headline you see above is a tease until 1 a.m. ET. That is when I will post my full chat with Criminal Minds executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer. (We have to give EW’s west coast readers a chance to watch!)

In the meantime, however, I wanted to give you a place to chat about the season premiere, which found Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) returning to work with the team — and baddie Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy)! — on a case involving Doyle’s son, who’d been kidnapped.

Star Thomas Gibson, who held a premiere party last night for the cast and crew, says of the episode and season, “It felt like a big family reunion. We’re really counting our lucky stars,” he said. “To quote Kirsten [Vangsness], ‘Erica wrote the s–t out of it, and Glenn [Kershaw] directed the s–t out of it.’ It’s really a new beginning to the show.”

In our chat with Messer, conducted while she was attending said bash at Gibson’s house (pause here to recognize how incredibly adorable that is), she breaks down the very special episode and chats about what’s to come. READ FULL STORY

'Criminal Minds' cast talks BAU's big reunion. Plus, Paget Brewster on her emotional upcoming scene. -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Before we head off for a long, labor-free Labor Day weekend, let me offer you a behind-the-scenes look at some very hard-working people: the cast of Criminal Minds.

In early August, I visited the set of the CBS procedural to get a sense of what’s going on at the BAU now that A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster are back full time (and test Matthew Gray Gubler’s skateboarding skills ).

Take a look at the video below, featuring the aforementioned, Joe Mantegna  (pictured), Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness, and fearless team leader Thomas Gibson. I apologize in advance for my terrible camera skills, but hopefully that doesn’t put a damper on the cast’s (and, I’m guessing, the fans’) prevailing message: This is a reunion to look forward to. READ FULL STORY

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'NCIS: LA,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Drop Dead Diva': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

This week has been my favorite week of all time for at least the past 10 years. It’s the week EW’s Fall TV Preview hits stands! No joke, the issue is full of great scoop. (And no one even forced me to write that!) So combine that awesomeness with the goodies in today’s column, and you’ve got yourself a giant feast of spoiler-y goodness this wonderful Friday. I issue a hundred “You’re welcome”s in advance, you spoiled human beings. (Wow, did I accidentally make a pun? This is shaping up to be literally the best day ever.)

For the record, I don’t know who spiked my morning tea either. But remind me to thank them. Also, let me thank you, the wonderful people who are sending questions every week. You are appreciated it. Now, keep it up!

E-mail all queries to spoilerroom@ew.com or tweet me: @EWSandraG. Onward!

SARAH DREW ON APRIL’S BIG CHALLENGE AND HER ‘MOMENT’ WITH JESSE ON ‘GREY’S ANATOMY’ READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Bones,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'NCIS,': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

It’s beginning to look a lot like fall TV time! And I’m so excited, I could scream! But that would be really awkward for the person in the office next to me, I imagine.

Instead, I’ll sit here and wait for your questions to pop up in the Spoiler Room inbox (spoilerroom@ew.com).

Clearly my brain is fried. So I’ll leave you to read. Remember to send in your inquiries and follow me on Twitter for more awkward thoughts (and maybe some scoop): @EWSandraG.

‘VAMPIRE DIARIES': EP TEASES MATT’S PAINFUL ROAD AHEAD

We wouldn’t wish suffering on anyone… except for maybe The Vampire Diaries’ Matt Donovan. But that’s only because actor Zach Roerig guts us when he gets teary. TVD exec producer Julie Plec almost got our eyes wet describing how Matt will figure into the season 3 story line that has Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) seeing the ghosts of his dead exes — including Matt’s late sister Vicki (Kayla Ewell). READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'The Office': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Hello from, L.A.!

The sun is shining, the Television Critics Association press tour is in full swing, there’s a party with Fox network stars tonight, I’m in the pacific time zone — which means this column is only an hour late — and I ate my weight in french fries from a food truck last night on Melrose Ave. I’m feelin’ pretty damn good, Roomies. And I hope you feel the same after reading this week’s scoop!

If not, you should probably e-mail me scoop requests to spoilerroom@EW.com. We’ll try again next week. And yes, this intro is particularly sunny because I’m hoping that will stop people from e-mailing me spam for Zoloft. If this doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what will.

For more of my LA adventures, party twitpics, or just to harass me for scoop, follow me on Twitter: @EWSandraG

‘HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER': NOW THAT’S A WEDDING!

True to their word, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas confirmed that this upcoming season’s first episode takes place at Punchy’s wedding in Cleveland a few days after the finale. But what’s the gang going through exactly? Well, in Lily’s case, she’s finds herself struggling to keep her and Marshall’s big announcement a secret. READ FULL STORY

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