It's official: Sela Ward joins 'CSI: NY'

sela-ward-csiImage Credit: Michael Buckner/WireImage.comCBS is now confirming what was first bandied about yesterday: CSI: NY has tapped Emmy winner Sela Ward to replace departing original cast member Melina Kanakaredes.

Per CBS, Ward will play “an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim.” She’ll make her first appearance in the season 7 premiere this fall (remember: NY is moving to Fridays at 9 p.m./ET).

“We are delighted to have Sela joining CSI: NY,” gushed exec producer Pam Veasey in a statement. “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 [Sinise] and this terrific group of people,” added Ward.  “I’m a huge fan.”

As reported yesterday, Kanakaredes opted to move on rather than sign a new contract with the show. I’m told, however, that her departure was not related to a pay cut.

Thoughts? Is Ward a worthy successor to Kanakaredes? My opinion: Hell, yes!

Comments (142 total) Add your comment
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  • Eve

    Great… same looks, same character stereotype. I’m pissed. They could at least bring in a different character!

    • Teeneer

      Same looks? Menina was an olive-skinned, younger, curly-and-brown-haired woman, Sela is older,Wasp-y white, straight, shorter, black haired. Where’s the same look?

      • haley

        I don’t think Eve was talking looks–its the character description. Stella spent this last season sympathetic and sad and she was the only one who ever felt something deep for anyone. Ever. And of course, she was the only one who could, because she was “driven by her empathy for the victim.” It was Stella’s plotline.

    • ps in seattle

      I am so not a Melina fan, and just couldn’t watch the show with her on it. I had high hopes for her replacement, but really, Sela Ward?? I have never understood all the fuss over her, she does nothing for me. Pity, because Gary Sinise is SO great, but the show is just not watchable for me with either of these women on board.

      • anon

        I’m so right there with you on both counts. (Well, all three really, since I also admire Gary Sinise.) It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I just don’t get it.

    • Cheryl D

      Am also NOT a fan of MK. I’m a big fan of crime dramas, but just couldn’t buy into CSI:NY…until now. Sela Ward has given us great believable characters through the years, not boring, nor over-dramatic. Remember how she stood toe-to-toe with House? An amazing actress to watch!

    • Tego Livi

      I hope her character isn’t as boring as Stella, but with that description, I’m not optimistic. Stella, Mac, and Sheldon are all annoyingly bland and perfect. They have little personality.

      • pocketmouse


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  • XK

    Cool… I like Sela. Will probably tune back into CSI:NY for the first time in a few years just to check out her new character.

    • CAReader


    • ultrawoman

      Same here.

      I’m just disappointed that now she can’t join Chuck as Chuck’s mom like I was hoping.

    • MaryJane

      About the only roll I liked Sela Ward in was “The Fugitive” movie. She was only seen in a couple of flashbacks as a dead body. That’s about the extent of her acting ability, as far as I am concerned. I am so NOT looking forward to seeing her on CSI NY.

      • Deppgal13

        Sela Ward spent many years on a television series called “Sisters” possibly before your time, but she is a fantastic actress & will bring lots to this show, I never watched because of Melina, but will now – she is way better actress than what you saw on The Fugitive, really.. :-)

      • sd

        i agree Sela on Sisters was awesome, i wish that show would rerun on some network.

    • Renee

      Right there with you. I like Sela!

      • Tchanga

        That is pure beauty! I am a laeibsn who has children with my partner. We use sign language with my middle daughter, who has Down syndrome. does this family have a blog?? I’d love to follow their beautiful journey!

  • Christina

    I’m pretty excited, I think she’ll be a good addition to the show and hopefully breathe some new life into the aging series.

    • Aaron

      Agreed. Love that she’s back on TV, but wish the show was worthy of her talents.

    • MaryJane

      Sorry Deppy, I’ve been around for quite a while, and believe me, I know what series & movies Ms. Ward has been in. I wasn’t impressed by “Sisters” either, another overly-hyped series. I have never seen an actress who couldn’t do a decent crying scene until I saw her in a couple of movies. As I said, I am so NOT looking forward to seeing her on CSI NY.

      • carly

        i agree but i don’t watch csi ny anymore

      • Tracy

        If you watch CSI: NY you’ve already seen the worst crying scenes in the history of television courtesy of Anna Belknap.

  • Stephanie

    This is amazing news on both parts! Love Sela! Glad Melina is leaving – so very, very glad!


    as sad as i am that melina is leaving, i’m happy that sela ward is joining csi:ny. she is a great actress!!

    • Lorie

      Same here.

  • huddysmacked

    I’m still in shock


    I hated Melina but Sela Ward??? Arrrggg. She ruined House for me in season 2 (i don´t watch that show since the Stacy arc) and now she will ruin CSI.

    • Ellen

      And I’m disappointed that she won’t be coming back to House. But better for her to be a cast member on a show than a guest star.

  • sietsx

    I don’t really like it that Melina is leaving, but I’m a huge fan of Sela so I’m happy for her !

  • Belinda

    AS long as Sela doesnt go out and get a crazy curly haired perm, I’ll watch it. Those long haired curls on Melissa’s head over the years would really give me and my pet bird, Polly, quite a headache when we watched this show together. Polly would say to me, “Aaaack, no more curls, no more curls…..Aack” every time Melissa was on TV. I hope I can now watch this show in a more peaceful surrounding. Sela…..please….no perm.

    • Melissa

      Belinda….gotta love ya toots. You watch this show with a pet bird and complain about curly hair and that it gives you a headache. You should be a guest on The Dr Oz Show.

    • Rachel

      What a nut! But she’s right about Melissa’s curly hair. Blech.

    • Carm

      Melina’s (not Melissa) hair is naturally curly. So you are upset that she did not go out and get it straightened for you I guess.

    • Spike

      Um, her name is MELINA, not Melissa.

      And if you’re complaining about her GORGEOUS curly hair, then you don’t have the sense God gave small animals.

      PS: Would much rather see her natural beauty onscreen than the fakey long-stripper-hair that’s everywhere these days.

  • Nikki

    There goes the series. Thank you, Pam Vessey.

    • larosaverde

      I agree with you without Melina the series is not going to be the same. Bad move CBS.

      • Lol

        Without melina csi:ny will not be the same :(

      • Lol

        :(Without Melina csi:ny will not be the same

  • hello

    That was fast

  • Brett

    Sela used to be so good looking.

    • René De Beaumarchais

      Still is. Milves…

    • Carla

      STILL is… what is your issue with her.. she is a beautiful, talented actress…

  • Mike

    This is great news! It’s wonderful to have Sela back on our TVs!!

  • Lila

    Seriously? Sounds like a repeat of Stella. You can’t afford her, so you go get some else? Why don’t you go for something different. Maybe give her a personality. Maybe stop putting Stella–er new person in unrealistic heavy situations.

  • Amber

    Seriously? What crap.

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