According to reports from Deadline, and other sources, Rachel Nichols is set to become a series regular on CBS crime-drama Criminal Minds as FBI cadet Ashley Seaver. This comes on the heels of the departure of former regular A.J. Cook and the currently questionable status of Paget Brewster.
I, for one, am looking forward to Nichols joining the cast. I’ve only seen a handful of Criminal Minds episodes myself, including the creepy (but aren’t they all?) 2005 Super Bowl episode. Not one to typically follow procedural dramas, I never quite developed much of an interest in following CM, in fact, almost even forgetting it was still on the air.
Now that Nichols is joining the cast full-time, I’m actually rethinking my position. Any excuse to see her back on TV on a regular basis.
I’ve been a fan of Nichols’ ever since her turn as CIA agent-in-training Rachel Gibson during the fifth and final season of Alias. While Jennifer Garner spent most of that time largely sidelined due to pregnancy, Nichols’ Gibson seamlessly stepped in as protege to Sydney Bristow, to do the bulk of the heavy lifting.
What impressed me most about Nichols, during her Alias run, was how well she blended into the veteran cast, somewhat unlike fellow newcomer Balthazar Getty who had a more difficult transition. I fell head-over-heels in love with her character, who had a rather brutal introduction to spy life, not too unlike Bristow’s in the series pilot. As much as I loved Jennifer Garner, and felt that the series was irrevocably tied to her participation, there’s a little part of me that was sad the show didn’t continue on with Nichols front and center. I believe she could have more than been up to the task.
Nichols has a sweet charm about her that makes her endearing, but a tenacious strength that should prove capable of matching wits with the rest of the seasoned Criminal Minds cast.
Nichols previously had a role on the short-lived series The Inside and has also appeared in several feature films, including the horror flick “P2” and “G-I Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” Next she will appear in the independent feature “Meskada” alongside Nick Stahl and Kellan Lutz, as well as the Conan reboot next summer.
Follow Jeff Kirkpatrick on Twitter at @TVOnMyTerms.