Rachel Nichols has yet to make her Criminal Minds debut, but apparently producers already like what they see.
The former Alias star has been promoted to series regular on the CBS procedural. Nichols originally only signed on for a three-episode arc. She will make her first appearance in the Dec. 8 episode, and will play Ashley Seager, an FBI cadet with an unusual family history who Agent Hotch (Thomas Gibson) invites to help consult on a case.
Criminal Minds announced plans to bring on a new female series regular sometime this season after the exit of original cast member A.J. Cook in September. When Cook’s departure first was announced, fellow cast member Paget Brewster’s role was also reduced to 17 out of 22 episodes. Brewster was subsequently asked to appear in all 22 episodes, but opted to work the reduced number of episodes so she could field offers for other pilots.
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.