Criminal Minds: Which Stars Might Be Leaving?
Kirsten Vangness and AJ Cook | Photo Credits: Mark Davis/CBS
There has been some real-life drama lately surrounding Criminal Minds. While the CBS procedural has yet to be renewed, several cast members have received final contract offers, but two stars have turned them down, Deadline reports.
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Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook, who are negotiating together, have both refused offers from CBS and production company ABC Studios due to the poor treatment of female cast members. Upset over the fact that the show's female stars are paid less than half of what their male co-workers receive, Vangsness and Cook are reportedly willing to leave the series if they don't get equal pay to their male counterparts.
Meanwhile, stars Thomas Gibson and Joe Mantegna — whose returns are crucial to a pickup, according to Deadline — are close to signing new deals, while Shemar Moore is deep in negotiations. (Matthew Gray Gubler and Jeanne Tripplehorn are still under contract.)
According to Deadline, cast negotiations need to wrap up by the end of Tuesday in order for CBS to officially renew the series for a ninth season. Showrunner Erica Messer signed a new two-year deal last week and told TVGuide.com that she'd be shocked if the show didn't return. "There are a lot of deals that need to be signed and that kind of thing, but I feel very strongly that we're coming back," she said. "It's not a matter of if, but when."
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This isn't the first time the network has faced criticism over treatment of Criminal Minds' female cast members. In 2010, the series had only one full-time female star (Vangsness) after cutting Cook and reducing the episodes of Paget Brewster. Thanks to fans who spoke out on behalf of the actresses, CBS brought the pair back before Brewster chose to leave last season after her contract was up.
Emails to CBS and ABC Studios were not immediately returned.
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(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by a joint venture between Lionsgate and CBS.)