Can Jennifer Love Hewitt Pull Off New ‘Criminal Minds’ Role?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Jennifer Love Hewitt is returning to CBS — this time as a series regular in the tenth season of Criminal Minds, premiering this fall. The actress will play undercover agent Katie Callahan, whose work has landed her a much sought-after spot in the exclusive Behavior Analysis Unit.

“We’re thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Jennifer Love Hewitt to our amazing cast,” showrunner and executive producer Erica Messer said about the casting news in a statement. “Many of us on the show have enjoyed working with her over the years and look forward to again. We have exciting storylines planned for her character and the entire BAU team as we head into our 10th season.”

Hewitt, who got her start on Fox’s Party of Five in the ’90s, is a seasoned pro at appearing on the small screen, having also previously starred as Melinda Gordon in CBS’s Ghost Whisperer for five seasons through 2010 and then Lifetime’s The Client List for two seasons. However, the latter was canceled in 2013 by both the network and producer Sony Pictures, reportedly due to creative differences with Hewitt over storylines for the third season. The show was based off a TV film of the same name, also starring Hewitt. She has also made several recent guest appearances on TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.

Despite her long small screen history, this will mark Hewitt’s first time on a crime-busting cop show and fans seem to be skeptical as to whether she can really pull off the role.

Criminal Minds has introduced and then lost several significant female characters, most recently Jeanne Tripplehorn, who left the show after playing Alex Blake for almost 50 episodes. But Hewitt will be joining longtime cast members A.J. Cook and Kirsten Vangness. The question: does she have the acting chops to hold her own in a role alongside them?

You won’t be able to come up with a clear answer simply by looking at her past projects. While Ghost Whisperer earned fairly good reviews from critics, Hewitt’s latest choices haven’t been as on par. Though The Client List was pulling about 2 million viewers in ratings by the finale of season 2, its reviews were much more of a mixed bag, with some critics calling it “trashy fun,” and others labeling it as just plain trashy.

There’s also the matter of whether viewers will be able to buy Hewitt FBI agent, particularly after so recently playing a call girl with a heart of gold. Already, some skeptics are making snarky comments about her figure and if or how it’ll make an appearance on Criminal Minds. To which, Hewitt might want to take a cue from Olivia Wilde, who blasted a GQ reporter on Twitter after he claimed she’s too hot to play a journalist in a review for the film The Third Person.

Whether you’re on board with the casting or not, the announcement has served to generate buzz, ensuring that at least some will tune into the October premiere out of sheer curiosity. As for whether Hewitt will really be able to pull off her new character, viewers will have to tune in and decide for themselves.

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