Jennifer Love Hewitt: Why She Left 'Criminal Minds' After Just One Season

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Jennifer Love Hewitt has said goodbye to Criminal Minds after starring on the CBS crime thriller for only one season. Why did her time end so soon?

E! Online reports it was her choice to leave.

If you missed the Wednesday, May 6th episode of Criminal Minds, then let this serve as a spoiler alert. You've obviously learned from the title and opening line that Jennifer Love Hewitt left the show--but you still don't know what her final episode entailed.

That final episode was a case of life imitating art--or perhaps it was the other way around. Jennifer Love Hewitt's character, Kate, saw her daughter and friend kidnapped in the season 10 finale. The character, like the Party of Five and Ghost Whisperer star, was also expecting another child, and decided to take some time away from work to focus on her family.

Showrunner Erica Messer said that wasn't the original plan, but the writers worked it in.

"It felt like we had every opportunity to write to the truth of it: She's having another baby. Although on the show she hasn't had, physically, two babies, she does have two kids: She has Meg, who she's been raising since she was an infant, and we wrote in that the character is going to have another baby. There was an opportunity there to write towards the truth. Jennifer wanted to be able to give this second baby everything she gave her first, and that's taking time off to be a full-time mom. Because she's due in July, when we would start shooting season 11, timing-wise there was no way for her to do both, to be able to give that baby everything she wanted to give that baby and still be on our show," Messer said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "We wrote to that, and that's how season 10 ends. It's a bittersweet idea of, ‘Life is full of choices and they define who you are.' She makes the decision to leave the team for a while. It's really lovely and real, not only because it was happening off-screen, but because I know those things happen in real life too."

Might Jennifer Love Hewitt return to Criminal Minds after she spends some time at home with her new baby and daughter Autumn, who was born in November of 2013?

Never say never.

There is in fact a chance of that happening. For now, however, it's not part of the foreseeable future on Criminal Minds.

Were you disappointed to learn Jennifer Love Hewitt said goodbye to Criminal Minds on Wednesday night's episode?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.