According to Deadline.com negotiations have stalled between Gibson and CBS with only one month to go before production gets underway on the upcoming Season 7. While he is expected to sign a new deal to stay with the show the uncertainty is making life hard for the writers.
They have already started to map out next season and write scripts. Gibson's character, Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, has been key to the show's storylines, so it would be hard to plot the season without knowing if he will be back.
No reason has been made public for the delay in negotiations, but it could be salary-related. Over the last year CBS has been keen to trim the 'Criminal Minds' budget. Up until now Gibson has reportedly been making $100,000 per episode, which is not exactly chump change, but is low compared to the stars of other procedurals such as 'Law & Order: SVU,' who pull in around $400,000.
However, after cancelling the spin-off series, 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior' the network may have more cash to spread around. Gibson's co-stars Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook have both been rehired for Season 7 and recent addition Rachel Nichols has been let go. Executive producers and showrunners Ed Bernero and Simon Mirren have also both left the series.
Last year the news that producers had offered Brewster a reduced number of episodes and fired Cook sparked outrage amongst fans who started -- now apparently successful -- online campaigns and petitions to reinstate the actresses.
'Criminal Minds' Season 7 premieres in the fall on CBS.