Veasey: Let’s Get To Know Our People Again

The plans for CSI: New York’s seventh season underwent some last-minute changes after the departure of Melina Kanakaredes (Stella Bonasera). Spoilers after the jump!

The writers knew where season seven was going, but losing a major cast member forced them to change directions. “Our last-minute cast change kind of uprooted some things we were going to carry over with Danny [Messer, Carmine Giovinazzo] and Lindsay [Monroe, Anna Belknap], and some interesting things with Mac [Taylor, Gary Sinise] and relationships,” executive producer Pam Veasey told Fancast. “But once we got Sela [Ward, Jo Danville], we decided that with a new person coming in, let’s get to know our people again, through her eyes. So that is sort of our theme.”

Kanakaredes decided not to return to the series after season six was over, and she didn’t come back to film a final scene. The show will explain her absence in the season premiere by saying she left to run a lab in New Orleans, Louisiana. The situation is not ideal, but it does provide some closure. “We as writers and producers don’t think [it provides enough closure], but we sort of don’t have a choice,” Veasey admitted. “We’d love Melina to come back at some point, but I don’t think that’s possible. It’s not impossible, but I don’t think it will happen.”

At the end of season six, Mac was torn between new love interest Aubrey Hunter (Mädchen Amick) and old flame Peyton Driscoll (Claire Forlani). It was originally reported that Mac would be forced to choose between them, and fans were supposed to find out who he picked when the new season got underway. However, that arc had to be changed for several reasons. Ward’s addition to the cast changed the focus of the early part of the season, but actress availability also played a role. “Mädchen may still recur, but Claire ended up getting a show,” Veasey explained. Forlani will play Queen Igraine in Starz’s upcoming 10-episode drama series Camelot.

Mac’s love life might not get a lot of focus during season seven, but relationships will definitely play a role for other characters. Danny and Lindsay will be forced to deal with the aftermath of Shane Casey’s (Edward Furlong) targeted attack against their family at the end of season six. “Initially it speaks more to Lindsay and who she’s become, what she feels, and how valuable family is to her,” Veasey revealed. “After that, we wrap it up. Edward Furlong was great for us for two years, but after Lindsay finds herself, we move on.” She added that Lindsay is “a tad” off her game after what happened. “Not so much with her job but in trying to deal with what occurred [in the season finale/opening scene of season seven],” Veasey explained. “But Danny helps her through it.”

Meanwhile, Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) is ready to move on after the death of his girlfriend Jessica Angell (Emmanuelle Vaugier) a year ago. “Yeah, he’s over it,” Veasey said. “We’ve got to get him back to being fun, and maybe find him somebody. Everybody wants a relationship, but we’re going to start with Hill Harper.” Harper’s character, Dr Sheldon Hawkes, is next in line for a love interest—but not just yet. “It wont be in the first 10 [episodes], but it will be in the back of the season,” Veasey explained. “Were gonna find him some love!”

The full interview can be found on Fancast. The season seven premiere of CSI: NY, “The 34th Floor”, will air in its new timeslot this Friday, September 24 at 9:00pm ET/PT.

Rachel Trongo


Rachel Trongo

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