It looks like “Criminal Minds” Season 13 has averted another major cast shakeup similar to last season’s firing of Thomas Gibson due to an on the set altercation. Stars Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook just closed their new deals to return next season. They negotiated to have parity with their male co-stars, Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler, who signed their contracts last month.
Meanwhile, Damon Gupton, who starred in the the CBS series for just one season, has not been asked to return due to creative changes for “Criminal Minds” Season 13. The rest of the cast Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster are coming back as series regulars. With Gumpton’s departure, it is safe to say that his character will be the casualty in last season’s finale cliffhanger according to TV Guide.
It can be recalled that almost all of the members of the BAU except for Garcia (Vangness) and Reid (Gubler) were inside a vehicle that was plowed through by an 18-wheeler truck. EP Erica Messer has said that she wouldn’t want any of the characters to die. She emphasized, however, that it was entirely up to the writers to decide for “Criminal Minds” Season 13.
Earlier this year, Vangsness said she was seeking a raise to put her on a pay scale closer to that of her male co-stars’ before she returns for “Criminal Minds” Season 13. She admits that Mantegna and Gubler are a little more popular and may have paid their dues more. That is the reason why she was not asking to be paid the same amount as them but just closer.
Vangsness and Cook have both been on the show since it premiered although Cook was not made series series regular for season 6. She was brought back in as regular the next season. The terms of their new contracts were not disclosed but Deadline reports that the two actresses’ salaries are now at par with Gubler. "Criminal Minds" season 13 will premiere on September 27.