Q&A: 'Criminal Minds' cast slimming down

Changes in 'Criminal Minds' cast

What happened to JJ on Criminal Minds? I have heard they want to get rid of the Agent Emily Prentiss character, too. What is up? I love the show!

According to published reports, the show wanted to refresh the series by making some creative changes, including the departure of Jennifer Jareau, played by A.J. Cook. Paget Brewster (Prentiss) signed for this season, but is not expected to be in every episode, and she has said this will be her last season. That move, along with Cook's departure, sure feels like a financial decision, and Criminal Minds is not alone among prime-time dramas in trimming cast (and budget) of late.

Cook was brought back in the current season to let Jareau say a proper goodbye. Here's how CBS summed that up:

"JJ can no longer ignore the repeated job offers from the Department of Defense, and Director Strauss tells her she has no other choice but to leave the BAU and take the job to liaise for the DOD. Hotch does his best to try and stop it and keep JJ, but ultimately, the team has to say goodbye to one of their own."

The boy who plays Brick

On the TV show The Middle, how old is the boy who plays Brick? What has he been in before, and what is the extent of his brittle bone disease?

Atticus Shaffer plays Brick Heck, the youngest child of Mike (Neil Flynn) and Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) in the ABC show The Middle. He was born on June 19, 1998, making him 12, though he plays an 8-year-old on the show.

He has appeared on episodes of TV shows The Class, Days of Our Lives, Carpoolers, Out of Jimmy's Head and My Name Is Earl.

His film credits include Leaving Barstow, Hancock, An American Carol, The Unborn, Opposite Day and Subject: I Love You.

Atticus has osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, in which a person is born with defective connective tissue or his body does not have the ability to make it.

There are eight degrees of the disease, and Atticus falls in the middle as a Type IV. Type IVs suffer broken bones easily, are generally small in stature, have some spinal curvature and a barrel-shaped rib cage. Bone deformity is mild to moderate and many lose their hearing early in life.

Atticus was featured in a story in the New York Times earlier this year (www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/arts/television/09atticus.html).

'Mercy' unlikely to show again

Can you tell me if Mercy will ever be returning to TV?

Mercy, a drama focusing on the lives of three nurses in a New Jersey hospital, was canceled on May 14 by NBC. Low ratings was the given cause. Twenty-two episodes were shown.

Q&A: 'Criminal Minds' cast slimming down 11/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:43pm]

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