EXCLUSIVE: Former Blue Bloods co-star Jennifer Esposito is eying her own show, this time on the unscripted side. I’ve learned that the actress is filming a pilot for E! that she also executive produces. The untitled project is a spinoff from the cable network’s upcoming docu-reality series Playing With Fire, which premieres Sunday. Esposito is among those featured on the show, which follows the personal lives and careers of tastemakers and chefs inside New York’s culinary scene. Esposito’s storyline focuses on the actress, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease five years ago, opening her New York gluten-free bakery, Jennifer’s Way. With the bakery now up and running, the pilot will chronicle Esposito’s duties running the place while juggling the other aspects of her life. Atlas Media Corp, the company behind Playing With Fire, also produces the Esposito pilot. The E! project, packaged by Buchwald Fortitude, marks the first major TV gig for Esposito following her much-publicized exit from CBS/CBS TV Studios’ Blue Bloods after the studio put the actress on an indefinite medical leave due to her struggles with Celiac.
This Friday, November 2, CBS was slated to air the episode in which Jennifer Esposito’s character Jackie Curatola is being put on a leave of absence, and the first temporary new partner for Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), played by Megan Ketch, is introduced. However, I hear Hurricane Sandy delayed post-production on the episode of the drama, which is based in New York. As a result, Blue Bloods will air another original on Friday, a standalone episode featuring Danny working protection detail for an infamous photographer who is a witness for Danny’s sister, prosecutor Erin Reagan-Boyle (Bridget Moynahan). Esposito does not appear in the episode (she also was not in the episode that aired last Friday). Esposito’s last episode (for now) has been rescheduled for next Friday.
UPDATE: Jennifer Esposito On Leave From ‘Blue Bloods’, Calls CBS’ Sidelining Her “Shameful Behavior”, Guest Stars To Fill
UPDATE: On Twitter, Jennifer Esposito disputed CBS TV Studios’ account of why she is going on a leave, slamming them for sidelining her and callling it ”absolutely shameful behavior”.
“CBS PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you