Criminal Minds executive producer Erica Messer has confirmed that Jennifer Love Hewitt will be leaving the show. The season finale last night showed her character, Agent Kate Callahan, hand in her resignation to Agent Aaron Hotchner, stating that she wanted to spend more time with her adopted daughter Meg and her newborn once it is born.
The reasons mimic Jennifer’s decision to leaving the show. Criminal Minds’ Messer confirmed that the actress wanted to take a step back to give birth to and care for her second child, due in July. Hewitt likes to be a hands-on mom, and that was seen during her filming of Criminal Minds this year. He daughter, Autumn, would spend time on the set so she could play and bond with her between scenes.
Messer confirmed with Entertainment Weekly that the decision to write the character out in that way was deliberate. It also left the door wide open for Hewitt to return to Criminal Minds at a later date if she chooses.
The decision to have Kate’s adopted daughter abducted was already the plan for the season finale. However, the idea to write her out only came at the end of last year, when Jennifer said that she was pregnant and wanted to leave. She made it clear that she wanted her second child to have the same as her first child: a full-time stay at home mom. Creating a reason for Kate to leave the BAU fell in easily with the character development the writers gave her.
The fans of the show took time to warm up to her character. Some complained that she never seemed to bond with the team, wanting old favorite Emily to return to the program. That is unlikely to happen, as Messer has indicated what could happen from Season 11 onwards.
TV Line reports that the show could opt for a “revolving door” option. That would allow guest stars to come in for a few weeks at a time and not have to sign on for a whole season. It could help shake up the show, which some fans have seen grow stagnant over the years. There is the opportunity for some old characters to return for a short period, which could mean Emily returning.
Fans will also know that A.J. Cook is also pregnant at the moment. Cook decided to stick with Criminal Minds, and that is something that will be covered at the start of Season 11.
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