Exclusive: 'CSI: NY' boss promises 'noble exit' for Stella

CSI: NY‘s former leading lady, Melina Kanakaredes, may not be returning to wrap up her story line, but producers still plan to give her character, Stella, a dignified send-off.

“We’re giving her a noble exit,” says coexecutive producer Zachary Reiter. “We chose not to go the route of killing her off or having her go missing. We felt that would weigh too heavily on the team.”

According to showrunner Pam Veasey, viewers will learn during the show’s Sept. 24 premiere—which picks up several months after the season 6 finale—that Stella relocated to New Orleans. “She left to run a lab there,” says Veasey. “And she picked that city because it’s the city of Katrina, the city of BP oil, the city where people are looking for someone to lend a hand.

“She’ll essentially be Mac in New Orleans,” she continues. “We wanted to do something that was respectful and made a lot of sense.”

As previously reported, Emmy winner Sela Ward has been tapped to fill the void left by Kanakaredes.

Photo: Eric Leibowitz/CBS; Bob Charlotte/PR Photos

Comments (116 total) Add your comment
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  • eskeigh

    Leaving her CSI family sure makes a lot of sense.

  • kay

    To be quite honest, THAT SUCKS!
    They don´t give us any closure with that time-jump…it´s just the easy way out so they don´t have to deal with Stella going missing etc. Me as a fan of MK/Stella WANT do see the impact that her departure has on the team — but like that, we fans won´t get anything out of it. I´m disappointed and done…

    • Lucas

      Actually i like this method. Because the whole ‘gone missing’ and ‘kill them off’ is such an easy way out.
      and this way they can have her gone from the team so we get the loss of a friend that has had a lucky promotion etc without the cheesy stuff that comes with the other methods.
      AND it’s prime spin off material. Las Vegas and even Miami are getting a tad long in the tooth. new teams and new places are in order. And Stella is already set up in folks minds if they decided to do a CSI: New Orleans.

      • Tego Livi

        What’s silly is they say she “picked New Orleans” because of the all the crap that’s happened there–as if she willed a job to open there. The character of Stella has always been too good to be true (and too good to be interesting). This just piles on more goopiness.

  • Eve

    “We chose not to go the route of killing her off or having her go missing. We felt that would weigh too heavily on the team.” — YOU THINK? The redundancy of that statement makes me feel as though the showrunners don’t even realise how integral of a character Stella [and her relationships with the other characters] was to the show.

    I love Sela Ward, but i will not stop being heartbroken over the loss of Melina here.

  • ccs

    Screw that.
    No Melina/Stella, no CSI:NY for me.
    Season 6 was disappointing, the only thing that kept me watching was her!
    And this solution PV is not only uncreative but also cheap.

    • eelmca

      i am actually happy she is gone

      • eelmac

        i never liked the character. In the very first episode when she was introduced is when it went down hill for me. What is more important retieving evidence off of someone or trying to get them to the hospital to save their life. come on tihnk about it.

  • Marilyn

    I’m disappointed she’s gone (being a fellow Greek and all) but I’m curious to see how Sela Ward pans out…

    Not to be nitpicking, but Sela has been tapPed, not taped, right?

  • JohnM

    Fall 2011, CSI: New Orleans. :P

    • Dianna

      I would totally watch that!

    • Kay

      Ha! I was thinking the exact same thing.

      • Angela

        YEAH!!!! I’d watch that!!!! <3 Melina/Stella!!!!!

    • M Weyer

      You beat me to it, would totally watch that. Hey, it would be a great setting for a CSI with the weather, locale and such and having Stella in charge would be great.

    • Brent Kofron

      I suppose no one remembers that New Orleans was going to be the setting for the third CSI show until they decided that New York didn’t have enough police shows.

  • Amber

    Eww, I can’t stand Sela Ward. I wish Melina would stay!

    • jared

      Opposite for me. I love Sela and am glad Melina is gone.

    • jared

      Sela Ward is really talented. She’ll be great on the show. Melina was ok but I love Sela.

  • Miss Talk

    “We chose not to go the route of killing her off or having her go missing. We felt that would weigh too heavily on the team”. MEANING: As soon as she’ll regret her decision and will be back, we’ll kill Sela Ward’s character and we’ll move on like nothing happened.

    • Cheery

      Oooh, I hope this is true. Didn’t something similar happen with Delko’s character on CSI: Miami?

    • Ab

      It wasn’t Melina’s decision to go. It was the show’s. So they’re the ones who have to change their mind about this terrible mistake.

      • Sarah

        No it was Melina’s. She chose not to renew her contract and wanted out

      • Virginia Frazier

        I really think they made a mistake. I liked Stella very much. I think her and Mac made a great team! She will be missed. I don’t have anything against Sela Ward but why break the mold when nothing’s wrong with it.

  • paco from nj

    Note to producers and writers of CSI NY–Re Stella’s departure from the show and their explanation. 1 word comes to mind: WEAK!! And I rarely watch the show, but if that’s the best they could come up with, hoe f-ing sad is that? WEAK!!

  • Steff

    Okay sign me in for CSI:NO!

  • Tina

    I´m royally pissed and TPTB are delusional if they think they do us or the character a favour with this cop-out.

  • lyn B

    Is this supposed to make everything fine? How ‘noble’ of them.
    S 6 was poor, and this finishes the show for me.

  • timotey

    I loved Stella but I don’t get why people are so pissed at the execs. It was Melina’s decision to leave the show. She could’ve taken a pay-cut and stayed. The show’s just not delivering the numbers it used to, so the pay-cut is understandable.

    And those who blame Charlie Sheen’s raise? I don’t like his show but unlike CSI:NY, it’s still one of the CBS’s best rated series…

    • Ab

      How would you like it if your boss asked you to work next year but lose part of your salary? I’d turn it down too.

      • Tracy

        Have you even been paying attention to the economy? Which is better: a job where you’re earning a living or no job where you’re earning nothing? Plus these actors get paid an obscene amount of money. I’m sure she could’ve survived on whatever they offered if a pay cut is truly why she left. But Ausiello reported that a pay cut is NOT why she left. Stop blaming the network for an actress’ decision.

      • Virginia

        Things are tough right now for everybody. I can’t see Stella taking a pay cut. that stinks,

  • Tracy

    We have no idea if Melina’s decision to leave was over the pay cut thing or not…that was just a rumor, as I understand. And if that was the reason, you can’t tell me Sela Ward is cheaper than Melina. Agree with lyn, season 6 was bad, we stayed for Melina. Loved the show, but we’re done.

    • timotey

      It doesn’t matter if it was a disagreement over the pay-cut or not. They wanted her back, they offered to pick up her contract, she declined. It was her decision. She wasn’t kicked out, she wasn’t dropped, she left of her own volition.

      • Sue1

        I agree, timotey, ultimately it was her decision. I would have been very disappointed if they had chosen to kill her off, but it seems no matter what happens many fans are unhappy. I’m sorry she’s leaving, but I’m not going to stop watching a good show in protest of her choice.

    • Caitlyn

      I think Sela could be cheaper. If you look at her imdb page. She hasn’t worked since 2009 and her last job before Stepfather was 2006. There aren’t a ton of parts for women in their mid 50s.

  • FDH

    I’m still not sold. Stella wasn’t unhappy where she was… I love New Orleans but and I’m sure she’d be busy there but it wouldn’t have been her first offer to run a lab somewhere, I’m sure. However, suddenly she decides to go and leave the only family she has ever known behind? Yeah, right. Writers, think easy, don’t make anything complicated because you’re paid insanely large sums of money for doing your job. You shouldn’t work to hard (note: I’m being sarcastic!!)

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