Sela Ward Confirmed as CSI: NY Regular

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It's official: Melina Kanakaredes is out as the lead female detective on CSI: NY - and Sela Ward is in.

Kanakaredes herself confirmed the exit yesterday, while series producers are now speaking out on her replacement. Ward will debut on the show's sevent season premiere and portray an experienced investigator from D.C.

“We are delighted to have Sela joining CSI: NY,” producer Pam Veasey said in a statement. “With the exciting stories planned for Season 7, she’ll be a dynamic addition to the cast and the team.”

Sela Ward Pic

Added Ward, an Emmy winner who recently recurred on House as Stacy Warner: “I am thrilled to be working with Gary [Sinise] and this terrific group of people. I’m a huge fan.”

CSI: NY moves to Fridays this fall.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Victoria I could not disagree with you more. I think Melina did an excellent job playing Stella. The character of Stella is one of the best characters on the show. The way she pulls Gary and the other team members together reminds me of a mother bridging the gap between father and children. She helped give a human face to Mac and helped him come out of his shell. I think a lot of what she brought to the character stems from the person she is. I have not seen her in many shows or movies; but I did watch her in Providence and every episode of CSI NY and she has allowed Stella to grow and evolve into a great character. As Stella Bonasera she showed that women can be tough, without losing their femininity. Her character also showed that you do not have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth in order to look like you did. It is my belief that the departure of Melina (Stella) from the show will leave a void in the show. As for her not accepting a pay cut. I agree with her. How many execs are taking pay cuts? As for Sela Ward, not a fan. I did not care for her character in House. I will still watch CSI NY because as you said Gary is still there, as well as the other cast members. I hope all the best for Melina and I hope to see her on cable pretty soon. I am still hoping that something will happen and she will come back to the show. She will be missed by many.

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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. Gary Sinise is the star of the show, he’s still there, better looking then ever, and the show will be even better now.