Original Criminal Minds cast members Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have sealed new deals to stay on as Penelope Garcia and “JJ” Jareau.
After costars Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler re-signed for the fall, Vangsness and Cook held out for salary parity with the latter, Deadline reports, and emerged from their negotiations “essentially on par” with Gubler.
The actresses’ deals come on the heels of the news that Damon Gupton was not asked back for Season 13, after less than a full season as Agent Stephen Walker.
Retaining both Vangsness and Cook, especially in the wake of Gupton’s ouster, saves the CBS crime drama from sustaining another major cast shake-up as it did in Season 12, when original cast member Thomas Gibson was fired, Adam Rodriguez was added to the ensemble and Paget Brewster returned full-time as Prentiss, while Aisha Tyler got promoted to series regular.
Criminal Minds Season 13 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 27, now airing an hour later at 10/9c (after the new David Boreanaz drama SEAL Team).