CBS’ ‘CSI: NY‘ – which this fall moves to Fridays at 9/8c – has a lot to accomplish in its Season 7 premiere airing September 24.
For one, there’s the none-to-small matter of how the Messers extricate themselves from the closing scene of the finale, in which Danny found cray-cray killer Shane Casey in their apartment, in the middle of the night, cradling baby Lucy.
The new season’s first hour must also account for Stella’s absence (Melina Kanakaredes opted not to return to the show this fall) and introduce a new CSI, Jo Danville, to be played by Sela Ward (‘Once & Again’).
While we won’t get into specifics as to how the Messers’ crisis plays out, Carmine Giovinazzo (who plays Danny) says the resolution comes “swiftly.”
Life for the New York CSIs then leaps forward five months. Stella is gone, having accepted a job in New Orleans. And it is not long at all into the premiere that Ward’s character, a former FBI agent relocated from D.C., reports for her first day.
There won’t be any donuts-and-coffee “welcome party” awaiting Jo, however.
“Just as she shows up, instantaneously there’s a crime,” Hill Harper (aka Hawkes) tells Fancast. “There’s no opportunity for a real ‘How do you do?’”
The nature of that first Season 7 crime scene is such that it’d be criminal to reveal it here. Let’s just say that we agree with Harper when he calls it “a genius choice.”
On the personal front, the ‘CSI: NY’ cast has only started the process of moving on minus Kanakaredes, though having a TV vet like Ward added to the mix has soothed any sting.
“Clearly, we’ve been used to one kind of thing for six years, so it will take more than a couple of days to get used to a new character and … have the character find her way,” says series lead Gary Sinise (Mac). “We’ll all miss Melina, but Melina made a choice to move on, and we were lucky enough to have Sela come in.”
Ward is “a wonderful actress with a great personality,” says Sinise.
Bringing in a new forensics sleuth also promises to inject ‘CSI: NY’ with “a jolt of energy,” Harper believes. “Seven years in, it gets comfortable, easy to write scenes because you know the characters so well. So this will challenge the writers a bit. I’m excited about it.”