CBS is planning a Criminal Minds reunion, adding Rochelle Aytes to the cast of the Shemar Moore-starring series S.W.A.T. TVLine reports that Aytes, who portrayed Savannah Hayes, the wife of Moore’s Criminal Minds character Morgan, in the crime drama, will join the cast in the recurring role of Nichelle, the potential love interest of Moore’s character sergeant Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson.
Aytes’ character is described as a woman who was born and raised in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Baldwin Hills who developed a desire to give back and help those with fewer resources. She now runs a neighborhood community center in South L.A.
“When a traffic accident brings her into contact with Hondo, a romantic spark ignites between the two. Hondo, however, is forced to switch up his approach when Nichelle hesitates to date him due to his reputation for (ahem) short-term relationships,” the outlet writes.
Aytes will make her debut on Wednesday, Nov. 13 during an episode in which the S.W.A.T. team chases criminals on the run with a high-tech thermal lance that can cut through anything.
Speaking to TVLine about the upcoming reunion, S.W.A.T. executive producer Aaron Rahsaan teased Aytes’ character and her relationship with Hondo.
“Nichelle presents a unique opportunity for Hondo; a love interest who inspires him to pursue her attention, while trying to convince her that he is ready for a more serious relationship, despite his reputation,” he said. “Whether or not Hondo will be successful, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Prior to landing her role on S.W.A.T., Aytes had starred in 10 episodes of Criminal Minds from 2013 until 2016. Her casting in the CBS crime drama comes as Criminal Minds is set to end its tenure on the network with its upcoming 15th and final season, which is set to for a midseason premiere.
A crime drama based on the 1975 series and movie of the same name, S.W.A.T. has proven to be successful at CBS, ranking 13th in total viewers with an average of 5.3 million viewers, beating SEAL Team, Criminal Minds, Ransom, and The Red Line. Throughout its second season, it averaged just under a 0.8 demo rating, ranking No. 9 among CBS' 17 drama series.
Along with Moore and Aytes, the series also stars Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, David Tan and Alex Russell. Stephanie Sigman also stars as Captain Jessica Cortex, the commanding officer of the LAPD Metropolitan Division and Hondo's ex.
The series is executive produced by Rahsaan, Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz, Marney Hochman, Danielle Woodrow, Pavun Shetty, Allison Cross, Craig Gore, Billy Gierhart and Andy Dettman. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios.