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

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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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