EXCLUSIVE: CBS and CBS TV Studios have recruited another actress to fill the void left by co-star Jennifer Esposito being sidelined with Celiac disease. Law & Order: LA alumna Megan Boone has been tapped to play a new temporary partner for Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). Her deal is for three episodes with a series option behind it.
In a move that has stirred controversy, Esposito was put on medical leave recently after her doctor advised her to reduce her work load from full- to part-time, a request the studio said it could not accommodate given the demands of the role. CBS left the door for Esposito to return but in the interim, it is bringing in actresses to play revolving partners for Danny, starting with Megan Ketch, who is filming four episodes. She will be followed by Boone. Coincidentally, Esposito was among several actresses tried out as temporary partners for Danny in guest arcs at the beginning of Season 1 before she got the gig full-time. Boone’s option also allows her to become a regular should a need arise. UPDATE: Jennifer Esposito took to Twitter to react to Boone’s casting. “There it is. CBS got rid of the only minority cast member so they can have an ALL WHITE CAST like CSI,” she wrote.
Also on Twitter, Esposito last weekend called the move to sideline her “shameful behavior.” She has expressed her desire to return to Blue Bloods, and there are several online petitions by fans launched in her support. Boone, recently seen in Step Up Revolution, is repped by Gersh and Circle Of Confusion.