Rejoice, Criminal Minds fans! There’s finally some good news coming from the set. Variety has confirmed that fan-favorite character Emily Prentiss will be appearing a lot more in the upcoming 12th season than was originally expected, as Paget Brewster has signed a deal that will allow her to be a series regular on the show again.
Back in July, it was announced that Brewster was returning to the show for multiple episodes by Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia, the Behavioral Analysis Unit’s tech genius, at Comic Con’s Fan Favorite Panel.
While Brewster’s return was only expected for a few episodes, the decision to have her stay on the show could be as a way to retain some viewers that might have wanted to stop watching the show after Thomas Gibson was fired after an on-set altercation between him and producer Virgil Williams.
It’s now possible that Brewster’s on-screen persona will be the one to take over as section chief of the BAU now that Gibson’s Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner will be written out of the show after the second episode of the season.
Erica Messer, the executive producer and showrunner of the show, had nothing but praise to say about Brewster’s return. “We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time. 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.”
A few hours after the news broke, Brewster took to Twitter to confirm the news with a selfie a little note to her fans.
— paget brewster (@pagetpaget) August 30, 2016
Season 12 of Criminal Minds marks the first full season without Shemar Moore as a cast member, as his character was written out of the show towards the end of the 11th season. He’s been replaced by Adam Rodriguez, who will play Luke Alvez, a member on a FBI fugitive task force. He gets asked to join the BAU after helping them hunt down all the serial killers who escaped from prison in the season 11 finale.
Criminal Minds also promoted Aisha Tyler to a series regular after she was recurring throughout season 11.
Brewster was a main cast member of the show from the second season through the sixth season, when her character faked her death. She re-joined the cast before the start of the seventh season and left again at the end of the season. She made an appearance in the 200th episode of the show in 2014 and also had a guest appearance in the 11th season.
Criminal Minds has its 12th season premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. Brewster’s first episode back will be October 12.