Why Did Paget Brewster Leave ‘Criminal Minds’? “I really didn’t feel challenged anymore”

Paget Brewster is being pretty open about her reasons for leaving CBS’ Criminal Minds.

“I really didn’t feel challenged anymore and I wanted to learn something and be excited again,” the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.  “Being on a show for a long time…I was getting cranky on Criminal Minds and we’d gone through some unnecessary cast changes—if that is as diplomatic as I can be about it—and I never got over it.”

Brewster played Emily Prentiss on the show for more than 125 episodes.  “I didn’t appreciate the job to the degree that I should,” she admitted.  “Someone’s lucky enough to have that job so I knew I needed for me to leave and do something else and let someone else have that job.”

The actress also noted that “playing Prentiss for six and a half years on Criminal Minds, at a certain point you’re so familiar with the rhythms that you can reach a point where you get lazy.  I’m afraid I did that.”

Brewster was last seen on rival network NBC’s Law and Order: SVU in a guest star role. Showrunner Warren Leight revealed that there was “potential for [Paget to return beyond the season premiere.]”

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