By Sandra Gonzalez
February 15, 2012 at 05:26 PM EST
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
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After seven seasons on CBS’ Criminal Minds, Paget Brewster is leaving — and it sounds like it’s for good this time.

EW has confirmed the actress will wrap up her time on the series after this season. ( first reported.) Brewster, who plays the role of Emily Prentiss, said via her Twitter account that deciding to leave the show was “hard choice.” She adds: “I love everyone at CM and the fans! I just couldn’t ignore my gut feeling. It’s time for something new.”

Last March, Brewster’s character exited the show but a window was left open for a return when it was revealed that her character had faked her death. This season, she — along with costar A.J. Cook — both returned to the show full-time, pleasing longtime fans who had been critical of the pair’s respective departures.

Just last month, executive producer Erica Messer told EW that she was hopeful Brewster and costar Matthew Gray Gubler would be retained next season, which has not yet been officially announced, as both were in the process of renegotiating their contracts. “This year I’m doing a lot of hopeful thinking,” Messer said of planning the two-hour finale. “The studios and network have stood behind us and said how much we mean to them and how much they love our show. I feel really strongly that we’ll be able to have this team back together again because it’s obvious they work well together. We’ve had one of the strongest seasons we’ve ever had this year and a huge, huge part of that is because all of our actors are here.” It is not yet known if Gubler will return.

Thoughts, readers?

Read more:

Paget Brewster left ‘Criminal Minds’: Too soon? 

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