Gupton was one of several new series regulars added this past season, along with Paget Brewster, who returned as a regular, reprising her role as Prentiss; Adam Rodriguez as FBI Agent Luke Alvez; and Aisha Tyler, who was promoted as Dr. Tara Lewis. It is unclear whether Criminal Minds will bring in a new regular cast member to fill the void left by Gupton’s exit.
Gupton’s departure is part of a creative change on the show. It was foreshadowed in the recent Season 12 finale, which finished with a cliffhanger, in which several agents, Gupton’s Walker, as well as Prentiss, Rossi, JJ, Tara and Alvez and Walker, were ambushed, with their SUVs getting their tires blowed out and then being rammed by an 18-wheeler at high speed.
Criminal Minds, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, recently signed new deals with veterans Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler for the upcoming 13th season. Meanwhile, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have been holding out, seeking parity with their male co-stars.
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