According to Deadline, Brewster desires to return to half-hour comedies, and decided not to renew her contract at the end of Season 7 .
“After six wonderful years playing Emily Prentiss, I have decided it’s time for me to move on,” Brewster tells Deadline. “As much as I will miss my Criminal Minds family, I am excited about the future and other opportunities.”
Apparently, Brewster has wanted to leave Criminal Minds for a while. Last year, the actress shot a pilot for NBC’s comedy My Life as an Experiment, which was permitted in her revised contract for Criminal Minds . If the pilot had been picked up, Brewster would’ve left the CBS drama at that point.
Criminal Minds producers decided to execute their option to bring Brewster back for one more season. They prevented her from filming another pilot and offered a new deal in an attempt to keep her on the show. However; the series’ executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer told Deadline, “Personally, I’m a huge fan and will continue to be one wherever she goes.”
Before joining Criminal Minds in the second season, Brewster appeared in a number of comedy series, beginning with her memorable arc on Friends.
While Paget Brewster has decided to leave, her other Criminal Minds co-stars, including Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore and A.J. Cook, have deals in place for next season. Matthew Gray Gubler is still in the process of renegotiating his.