Criminal Minds lead actor Joe Mantegna is putting the haters of new series regular Jennifer Love Hewitt on blast, informing them that they need to stop calling her the replacement of fan favorite Page Brewster, who left the show at the end of the seventh season. The actor took to Facebook last week to address the issue, telling fans that Hewitt is the replacement of Brewster’s replacement over two seasons ago, and that she needs to be treated as such and not be subject to so much ridicule. Hewitt replaced veteran actress Jeanne Tripplehorn, who played the role of SSA Alex Blake throughout seasons eight and nine.
The post detailed Mantegna’s claims that if viewers wanted to know if Brewster’s role as SSA Emily Prentiss would be making a comeback, to tune into the first episode of season 10. He also stated that if they wanted to know the reason behind her decision regarding re-entering the show, they should again watch the aforementioned episode. The reason behind Mantegna’s comment relates to the fact that the situation was addressed in the newest season’s opening episode, when one of the character’s makes the comment that Prentiss will not be returning from her work in the London officer to join them on their latest string of BAU adventures.
Mantegna’s Facebook update comes three weeks after the premiere of the show’s 10th season, in which newcomer Hewitt was first introduced. This new casting appointment was frowned upon by many even before the debut of the new season, with fans feeling that the former Ghost Whisperer star did not in any way fit in with the rest of the cast or its credibility. References were made to this being the second time that Brewster’s role has been filled by someone other than her, and diehard Prentiss fans attacked the CBS network for not listening to their wishes and bringing the original actress back to refill her spot.
They voiced their distaste for the new cast member via social network updates, stating their opinion that the show has never been the same since Brewster left for good at the end of season seven (she was first dropped from the cast at the end of the show’s sixth season, but reinstated not long afterwards.) Brewster herself gave an interview to TV Guide earlier this year informing her fans that, while she is happy to guest star on an occasional episode, she has no intentions of ever returning full-time. Mantegna has also shared the link to this interview via his Facebook to try to better convince people that it just is not going to happen, regardless of how bad they want it to.
Some upset viewers took the matter even further and began to harass Hewitt herself, tagging her directly in their Twitter posts stating that she should get off the show immediately because she will never fit in and nobody wants her there. There is even a Twitter account made solely for the purpose of spreading hate for the actress’s new part in Criminal Minds, with their account name even reflecting their disapproval of her as a series regular. The 35-year-old has not responded to any of these aforementioned public slams, choosing rather to focus on her new-found role as a cast-member and enjoy the company of her new co-stars.
It remains to be seen whether Criminal Minds fans will take Joe Mantegna’s advice to accept the loss of Emily Prentiss and leave Jennifer Love Hewitt alone. However, viewers do seem to be exhibiting signs of gradual acceptance of her character Kate Callahan, as last week’s episode focusing on her back story garnered the top spot in ratings for Wednesday night primetime television.
By Rebecca Grace