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'Criminal Minds' season 12 news, cast rumors 2016: Jane Lynch confirmed to return; Thomas Gibson breaks silence on recent firing

(Facebook/CriminalMinds)Promotional image for "Criminal Minds"

Fan-favorite guest star Jane Lynch has been recently confirmed to join the milestone 12th season of hit CBS crime drama "Criminal Minds."

Eight years after making her last appearance on the long-running program, the veteran actress will come back to reprise her role as Reid's mother Diana. Lynch is set to appear in two episodes early next year for a story arc centered on Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler). Her first season 12 appearance will come in episode 11.

Speaking with TV Guide, executive producer Erica Messer shared her thoughts on Lynch's return to the show. "We're really excited. It's a fun Reid story and she's really excited to come back and reprise her role," Messer said. "She's been a busy lady and we're still here, so we're happy to be able to offer that opportunity for her to come back."

On another note, former "Criminal Minds" star Thomas Gibson finally broke his silence on his unexpected dismissal last month due to an on-set altercation with writer-producer Virgil Williams. Gibson, who had played the role of Special Agent Aaron Hotchner since the show first aired back in 2005, claimed that his confrontation with Williams was just a minor incident that was blown out of proportion.

"We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line," Gibson told People. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.' " Gibson admitted that he was frustrated that time, so he decided to vent out to some castmates when Williams entered the room.

"[He] started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn't moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back."

Emily Prentiss' Paget Brewster will reportedly replace Gibson's character Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner as the new Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) chief in the series.

The 12th season of "Criminal Minds" premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

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