I hear it’s a done deal for Sela Ward to replace Melina Kanakaredes on CBS’ CSI:NY next season. Ward will play a new CSI joining the team of Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise). CBS and producing studio CBS TV Studios moved swiftly after it became clear that Kanakaredes won’t return to the show after her contract expired at the end of season 6. There had been some minor salary issues for Kanakaredes on the show that had to do with paycheck freezes, not cuts, but I hear those had been mostly resolved and the actress ultimately left because she felt it was time to do so. Production on Season 7 of CSI:NY starts on July 28. Ward, who has won two lead actress in a drama series Emmys, one for Sisters, and one for Once and Again, was last seen on TV in a major recurring role on the second season of Fox’s House. She is with ICM and management 360.
UPDATE: CBS just issued a press release announcing Ward’s casting.
Sela Ward will join the cast of CSI: NY as an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. Ward will make her first appearance in the season premiere when the show moves to Fridays at 9:00 PM this fall.
“We are delighted to have Sela joining CSI: NY,” said Executive Producer Pam Veasey. “With the exciting stories planned for Season 7, she’ll be a dynamic addition to the cast and the team.”
“I am thrilled to be working with Gary and this terrific group of people,” said Ward. ”I’m a huge fan.”