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Vanessa Ferlito To Leave 'CSI: New York'

By Christian
August 3, 2005 - 6:05 PM

See Also: 'Grand Murder At Central Station' Episode Guide

Vanessa Ferlito (Aiden Burn) will be leaving the cast of CSI: New York in the second episode of the new season, "Grand Murder At Central Station."

The CSI: NY producers have been hinting for several weeks now that one of the six original regular cast members would be written out of the show sometime during the first four episodes. As the two lead actors Gary Sinise (Mac Taylor) and Melina Kanakaredes (Stella Bonasera) had already been confirmed to be returning, and Hill Harper's Dr. Hawkes was reported to get a more visible role in the field this season, fan speculation quickly focused on Ferlito, Carmine Giovinazzo (Danny Messer), and Eddie Cahill (Det. Flack). However, CSI Files sources have now confirmed it is Ferlito who will be departing the show.

Ferlito's character will likely leave the New York CSI team as the result of an off-the-books case she takes on in the season premiere. In that episode, entitled "Summer In The City," Aiden Burn agrees to help out Regina Moore, a woman who 18 months earlier didn't dare testify in court after being raped. As a result, her attacker was acquitted -- only to now end up raping Regina again. She's too ashamed to call the cops, but two days later finally approaches Aiden. The CSI knows it will be next to impossible to convict a man who's already been cleared by the courts, but she's determined to find some way put this monster behind bars. In the next episode, "Grand Murder At Central Station," she's still fruitlessly working to find some physical evidence, and gets ever more frustrated by her seeming failure. Eventually, Aiden's increasing obsession with the case will prove to be her downfall...

With Ferlito's departure will come several changes to the make-up of the teams on the show. Whereas last year, Danny Messer was usually seen working together with Aiden Burn, in most of this season's early episodes Danny will be teaming up with Stella Bonasera. Without Stella by his side, Mac will spend most of his time working with Dr. Hawkes, fresh out of the morgue and into the field, and new transfer Lindsay Monroe, who was recently reported to be played by Anna Belknap. Det. Flack will continue to fulfill his role as roving quarterback, helping out whenever the forensic investigators need him.

This will be the fourth time a series regular will depart one of the CSI shows. CSI: Miami lost Kim Delaney (Megan Donner) halfway through the season, reportedly due to "lack of chemistry" with the other actors. Rory Cochrane (Tim Speedle) was written out at the start of Miami's third season at his own request, and Sofia Milos (Yelina Salas) was recently reported to be leaving Miami for reasons that are as yet unknown. After five seasons, the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation still has all its regulars, although George Eads (Nick Stokes) and Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) were briefly fired and then re-hired last year following a high-profile salary dispute (story). It is not yet known why Vanessa Ferlito is leaving CSI: New York.

CSI: New York showrunner Anthony Zuiker first revealed someone would be leaving the show during last week's Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Zuiker has promised the cast member's exit will be "big" and "exciting," but has so far refused to confirm exactly who it is, or whether the departing cast member will be killed off. Representatives for Ferlito have also declined to comment.

Prior to CSI: New York, Vanessa Ferlito became known to TV viewers through her recurring role as Claudia, the wife of bad guy Hector Salazar, in 24's third season. She has also made guest appearances on shows such as Law & Order, Third Watch and The Sopranos, and has worked on films such as Spider-Man 2 and Man Of The House. Despite leaving CSI: New York, it doesn't look like Ferlito will be hurting for work, as she was recently reported to have been cast in the new feature film Gridiron Gang, starring The Rock and Xzibit.

"Grand Murder At Central Station," Ferlito's final episode, is expected to air in late September, 2005.

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