SHOCKER! Melina Kanakaredes Leaving 'CSI:NY'; Will Sela Ward Replace Her?

melina-kanakaredessela_wardCSI: NY star Melina Kanakaredes is leaving the veteran CBS crime drama after 6 seasons. I hear her contract was up and she was approached by CBS and CBS TV Studios with a new deal but opted to move on. I also hear another TV series veteran, Once and Again star Sela Ward, is being seriously considered as a possible replacements to star opposite Gary Sinise on CSI:NY‘s upcoming 7th season. After a six-year run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot, CSI: NY is being relocated to Fridays where it will air at 9PM this fall.

“We hoped Melina would return to CSI: NY for another season, but we respect her decision to move on,” CBS and CBS Studios said in a joint statement. “Her amazing talent and invaluable contribution to the success of the series are greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten.  She will forever remain a friend to the network and studio and we wish her the very best.” Added Kanakaredes, who now holds the distinction of having starred on two back-to-back hit series, NBC’s Providence and CBS’ CSI:NY: “I made some amazing and lifelong friendships during my six seasons on CSI: NY, and I will treasure them forever!” CBS signed Kanakaredes in a rich talent deal right after the end of Providence. It led to her starring role on CSI:NY, which I hear most recently earned her around $200,000 an episode. For Kanakaredes, this marks a clean break from the show as she didn’t have a producer credit on it like Sinise or William Peterson, star of the mothership CSI series, who departed it last year. Production on Season 7 of CSI:NY starts on July 28.

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