The CBS drama series “Criminal Minds” has dodged a bullet heading into its 13th season with the news that two female stars closed deals to return to the show after battling for salary parity with their male counterparts. Deadline.com broke the news this morning that Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook received raises and will be back on the show.
Their new deals follow agreements signed last month by Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler.
“Vangsness and Cook, who were negotiating together, had been seeking parity with fellow original cast member Gubler,” Nellie Andreeva reports in the Deadline story. “I hear the two actresses have landed raises that put them essentially on par with him.”
Meanwhile, Damon Gupton is off the show. Variety reports: “Just this past weekend … Gupton, who starred on the CBS procedural drama for just one season, was not asked back, due to creative changes for Season 13.” Gupton played Special Agent Stephen Walker on the show.
“Bringing back both Vangsness and Cook keeps ‘Criminal Minds’ from another major cast shakeup, following last season’s departure of Thomas Gibson, who was fired from the show after an altercation on set,” Variety notes.