Brewster starred on the CBS procedural from 2006 to 2012, and has appeared in guest spots ever since. She will reprise her role as SSA Emily Prentiss with her first episode set for Oct. 12.
Brewster’s return as a regular cast member comes after star Thomas Gibson was fired due to a series of on-set altercations.
“We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time,” said Erica Messer, executive producer and showrunner. “The BAU family has definitely missed her, on screen and off. Having her back on set has been great, it’s like she never left.”
Season 12 of “Criminal Minds” will see many casting changes. With the loss of Gibson and also long-running star Shemar Moore, who departed the series after Season 11, the show is filling up its ensemble with the return of Brewster and the previously announced Adam Rodriguez and Aisha Tyler, who was recently upped to a series regular. Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook and Kirsten Vangsness are all returning.
Brewster was recently a regular on another broadcast series, Fox’s John Stamos comedy “Grandfathered,” which was cancelled after one season, freeing up her schedule to return to “Criminal Minds.” (Before Brewster’s series regular news was announced, she was already on board to appear in guest spots during the upcoming season.)
“Criminal Minds” premieres on Sept. 28 at 9 p.m.