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Paget Brewster Announces 'Criminal Minds' Departure

February 15, 2012 (4:59 pm) GMT
The actress who portrays Emily Prentiss is saying goodbye to the hit CBS show after six years to pursue other projects.

"" is losing one of its main and regular cast. announced on Wednesday, February 15 that she will no longer extend her contract with CBS to portray Emily Prentiss, in favor of other projects.

"After six wonderful years playing Emily Prentiss, I have decided itís time for me to move on," the actress said in a statement to Deadline. "As much as I will miss my Criminal Minds family, I am excited about the future and other opportunities." She gave her notification to the producers only on Tuesday.

"We were all sad to hear the news, but we respect and support any decision Paget wants to make," the series' executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer said. "Personally, I'm a huge fan and will continue to be one wherever she goes."

Brewster's contract ends in May, meaning she will leave after the end of this season. Although CBS has not officially renewed the crime drama hit, the ratings ensure that the show will return for its eighth season this fall. The other cast, , , and are locked for the new season.

Brewster reportedly wants to do a new half-hour pilot this year. She shot a pilot for NBC's comedy "My Life as an Experiment" last year but the network did not pick it up and she worked on a new deal with "Criminal Minds". Had "My Life as an Experiment" meet a green light, Brewster would have left the CBS show at that time.

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