EXCLUSIVE: That was quick. Less than a week after news broke that popular Grey’s Anatomy cast member Sarah Drew will be exiting the series at the end of the current 14th season, she has been tapped as co-lead Cagney in CBS’ Cagney and Lacey drama pilot. Blindspot alum Michelle Hurd has been cast as fellow co-lead Lacey in the reboot of the iconic 1980s police procedural.
Written by Bridget Carpenter and directed by Rosemary Rodriguez, the new Cagney and Lacey will follow the two female police detectives and friends who keep the streets of Los Angeles safe.
Drew will play LAPD Detective Cagney, Lacey’s nimble and easygoing partner and protégée. Hurd’s Lacey is athletic, polished, a former high school track and field champion. Empathetic and straightforward, she’s the more experienced partner.
Lacey was conceived and written as African American in the reboot, which CBS TV Studios is co-producing with MGM Television.
Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless played the title characters in the original Cagney and Lacey, which ran on CBS for seven seasons. The series won two best drama Emmys and six lead actress in a drama series trophies — four for Daly and two for Gless.
Carpenter executive produces the CBS pilot with Rodriguez.
There was strong reaction from Grey’s Anatomy fans last week when Deadline broke the news that longtime cast members Drew and Jessica Capshaw would not return next season in a decision the producers explained with the show’s creative direction. I hear the Grey’s team was very gracious in accommodating Drew’s filming schedule so she could do Cagney and Lacey, something she wouldn’t have been able to pursue because the ABC medical drama is still in production.
At CBS, Drew joins another Grey’s alumna, Sara Ramirez, who co-stars on Madam Secretary.
Drew has been on Grey’s for nine seasons, eight of them as a series regular, playing Dr. April Kepner. Like most non-original cast members, she started on the show as recurring — in Season 6 — before being promoted to a series regular the following season. She is repped by LINK Entertainment, Innovative Artists and attorney Alex Kohner.
Hurd co-starred on Season 2 of NBC’s Blindspot and recently recurred on Fox’s Lethal Weapon as well as CBS/CBS Studios’ Hawaii Five-0, the network and studio behind Cagney and Lacey. Hurd’s resume also includes roles on Netflix’s Daredevil and Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead. She is repped by APA and TMT Entertainment Group.