Following the recent departure of Paget Brewster after seven seasons, it was clear that CBS would have to find another strong female presence to fill the void she left behind on Criminal Minds. It seems that they've done exactly that, as veteran actress Jeanne Tripplehorn has signed on to join the BAU team for the upcoming eighth season of the procedural drama. Tripplehorn previously starred in the HBO polygamist drama Big Love for five seasons, and played prominent roles in such films as Basic Instinct and The Firm.
Tripplehorn's character has yet to be fully fleshed out (or even named), but executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer had this to say about her casting - "We’re thrilled to have Jeanne Tripplehorn join our team as a profiler. Her character will be introduced in the premiere. It’s an exciting way to start season 8.”
That it is, Ms. Messer, that it is. Tripplehorn's casting continues a trend of veteran TV stars being brought on to a CBS crime drama after one of its regulars leaves, which has included Laurence Fishburne, Ted Danson, and Elizabeth Shue joining CSI, and Sela Ward joining CSI: NY. Jeanne's deal is said to be for one year (although things will obviously be extended if she fits well with the show), and she'll be making a six figure salary per episode.
Do you think Jeanne Tripplehorn will be a good addition to Criminal Minds? Will Paget Brewster's departure hurt the show?