UPDATED: Jennifer Esposito says a story in Thursday’s New York Post has its facts wrong about her status on “Blue Bloods.” On Thursday morning, the actress Tweeted: “Page 6 needs to get there [sic] info straight” (she was referring to The Post’s “Page Six” gossip page which reported that her attorneys are working behind-the-scenes to get her reinstated on the CBS cop show). Then she Tweeted: “Just to be clear folks page 6 article is all lies! Was never fired have been held the last two months without pay and blocked from working.” At issue is this story in The Post, which we reported on earlier, below. From her Tweets, we’re not sure if Esposito is refuting the main thrust of the story — which is that she’s seeking reinstatement on the show. However, it IS clear that she takes issue with the story’s characterization of her current status on the show.
PREVIOUSLY: Despite her fury at CBS for reportedly ordering her character to be written out of “Blue Bloods,” jilted cast member Jennifer Esposito is actively campaigning to get back on the series, the New York Post reports.
The story — here — says Esposito’s reps are “negotiating with CBS to see if she can be reinstated on the show” (according to a source who isn’t named).
The main issue for Esposito and CBS: Her claim that she suffers from an ailment known as celiac disease, a wheat gluten allergy.
The disorder apparently renders Esposito unable to work the long hours that are usually required for working on a TV show (particularly a one-hour drama filmed mainly on the streets of New York City).
Last week, she issued a series of Tweets in which she implied that CBS was discriminating against her because the network would not OK a reduced work schedule for her that was mandated by her doctors.
Up until recently, Esposito, 39, played street-smart NYPD Det. Jackie Curatola for two seasons on the New York-based cop series. But after filming only a few episodes before being sidelined after a celiac attack that she says made her pass out on the set, she charges that CBS ordered her written out of the show. Since she’s been sidelined, CBS has reportedly been trying out a series of guest-star female detectives to serve as temporary partners for Det. Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). One of them, Megan Ketch, will be seen soon, on the Nov. 2 episode of “Blue Bloods.”
“It is believed [that Esposito] hopes to get back to work with a lighter schedule rather than take legal action against the network,” the Post story said.
Our take: Certainly, for a show such as this, CBS needs actors and actresses who are up to the physical requirements of all-weather, all-hours location shooting in New York. On the other hand, the network can’t be seen as discriminating against someone who’s sick. So that has to be part of CBS’ decision-making process where Jennifer Esposito is concerned. One big problem: If she’s already disappeared from the show, how do you explain her absence and then bring her back smoothly? In addition, how crucial was she to the show in the first place? If CBS is already trying out replacements, then the network must believe she wasn’t that important. Truth is, we don’t know which way this one will go.
“Blue Bloods,” starring Tom Selleck, airs Friday nights at 10/9c on CBS.