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Sela Ward lands new "CSI: NY" gig

[This blog post has been updated]

One day after CBS announced that "CSI: NY" star Melina Kanakaredes:

a) is an "amazing talent"
b) has forged "amazing.. friendships" on the show
c) is out

the network announced Sela Ward would replace Kanakaredes on the Jerry Bruckheimer procedural crime drama, playing an "experienced investigator from Washington D.C. whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim." Washington just became 10 percent hotter.

While Ward did not rise to "amazing" levels, CBS went so far as to call Ward a "dynamic addition to the cast."

Likewise, Ward held back the "amazing" card, though she would commit to declaring those involved with the series, including its other star, Gary Sinise, a "terrific group of people."

"CSI:NY," the lowest rated (though it won its timeslot consistently) of the "CSI" franchise -- which also includes "CSI: The Mothership" and "CSI: David Caruso" -- is in the throes of massive upheaval.

First, of course, is this big cast change. New cast member Ward is best known for her starring role in the '90s NBC chick-drama "Sisters," followed by a gig on ABCs short-lived "Once and Again." But, more recently, she had a recurring role on Fox's "House" in this century, in which she played Hugh Laurie's back-on-the-scene ex-girlfriend, and became kinda famous for having absolutely zero chemistry with Laurie in the sack scene, though we're sure there was fault all around.

The show has also been yanked out of its safe Wednesday 10 p.m. timeslot to make way for a new Las Vegas lawyer drama starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell called "The Defenders."

"CSI:NY," meanwhile, has been deployed by CBS to fight the good fight on Friday nights. CBS has owned Friday nights for a while now but last season stumbled in the ratings on the night , and now the night is considered up for grabs and, surprisingly, all the major broadcasters are going after it - especially the 10 p.m. timeslot.

CBS canceled "Ghost Whisperer" and hopes "CSI:NY" at 9 will provide a good lead-in audience for its new Tom Selleck cop drama "Blue Blood" at 10.

But NBC has put its most CBS-esque drama, the new Jimmy Smits lawyer drama, "Outlaw" on the night at 10. And ABC has scheduled it's most CBS-esque drama, the Dana Delany medical-crime show "Body of Proof" at 10. "CSI:NY" has really got its work cut out for it.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 13, 2010; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Really glad to see Melina leaving the show. She was often the reason I didn’t catch an episode.Sela Ward is lovely looking and also a much better actress. Ward and Sinise would be an excellent pairing.Melina left when CBS wouldn’t pay her what she thought she was worth. She’s the primary reason Providence drew such poor ratings and was cancelled, and also the main reason [other then the Danny - Lindsay bubblegum scenarios] that CSI: NY has lagged.
This show has needed a very good looking woman figure. Melina tried with the low cut tops and such things, but she just couldn't achieve a sexy look. No problem with Sela Ward living up to that part and she's a much stronger actress whom can assume most any role well.
Sela Ward replacing Melina is the best thing to happen to this show in a long time, in addition to the very large fan base she will bring with her.
Gary Sinise is the star of the show, he’s still there, better looking then ever, and the show will be even better now.

Posted by: medicinehands1995 | July 13, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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