‘Criminal Minds’ Season 12 Cast: Paget Brewster’s Emily Prentiss Is Back Full Time, What Happens To Aaron Hotchner?

If you miss SSA Emily Prentiss you are in for treat. Paget Brewster is returning to Criminal Minds full time in the upcoming Season 12.

This announcement comes weeks after Thomas Gibson, who plays Aaron Hotchner, was fired from the cast due to an on-set altercation with one of the Criminal Minds writers.

“We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time,” executive producer Erica Messer said in a statement. “The BAU family has definitely missed her, on screen and off. Having her back on set has been great, it’s like she never left.”

Paget Brewster was cast as a series regular from Season 1 through to Season 7. Brewster then made an appearance in Season 11.

The return of Emily Prentiss was already planned. In July of this year, it was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con International that she will return in a recurring role.

However, due to Thomas Gibson’s firing, Brewster is set to return full time.

Thomas Gibson played the BAU Unit Chief Hotchner and many fans wonder whether Prentiss will take his place. There have been no announcements. However, the showrunners intend on letting fans know in the near future.

“Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date,” according to a joint statement by ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.

Thomas Gibson was fired for allegedly kicking a writer in the leg during the filming a Criminal Minds episode.

The actor released a statement expressing his disappoint at how things turned out and gratitude to the staff and crew of the long-running series:

“I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 years,” he said. “I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won’t be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and, most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have.”

For fans of Thomas Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner, there may be hope. The actor joined Twitter to talk directly to his fans and in one tweet he expresses how he feels about the future:

“The support you show means the world to me and my family,” said the Criminal Minds star on Twitter. “This is not an ending, but a beginning as well. Thank you all. #ThomasGibson”

Does this mean he may come back?

This depends on how he is written off the show. If Hotchner is killed off, then it is unlikely that Gibson returns to the cast

However, they can creatively have the character exit the show will a possibility of a comeback. This depends on whether Gibson and the showrunners are able to resolve the conflict and continue working together.

However, it is all speculation at this point.

Shemar Moore, who plays Derek Morgan, also opened up to the possibility of coming back. The actor departed from the show last season. Moore has been in the series since its first season, and his character left the FBI to settle for family life.

“Last night was not goodbye,” Moore promised his fans, according to Entertainment Tonight, Criminal Minds show producers, CBS and ABC have all agreed that he’s welcome to come back to “dance and play” at any time. “Derek didn’t die, so anything is possible.”

Moore then elaborated and expects to return to Criminal Minds. “When I come back, I’m going to come back guns blazing and excited and ready to perform and dance and, hopefully, the fans will enjoy what I’m doing.”

Whether Thomas Gibson comes back is yet to be determined. You will have to tune in to Season 12 to find out what happens to Aaron Hotchner and the return of Emily Prentiss.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]

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