It’s about to get ugly at CBS’ Blue Bloods.
Ugly Betty playboy Eric Mabius will guest-star on the cop drama in February, TVLine has learned exclusively.
He’ll play Richard Rourke, a likable and sexy multi-millionaire philanthropist with an unblemished record who may not be as perfect as he appears.
In the episode, a tip from a victim’s father will lead Erin and Danny to a cold case involving a prominent New York City family.
After Betty wrapped in 2010, Mabius starred in the British sci-fi series Outcasts. He’s also appeared in The Client List, Franklin & Bash and Political Animals.
What was initially billed as a medical leave now appears to be a permanent one.
Sources confirm to TVLine that Blue Bloods actress Jennifer Esposito — who departed from the CBS drama in October amid controversy — is not expected to reprise her role as Det. Jackie Curatola this season. Or next season.
As reported back in October, CBS says the actress requested “a very limited part-time schedule” that the demands of the role could not accommodate, so they put her (and her character) on a leave of absence.
Esposito, however, claimed the network knew her request was the result of her battle with Celiac Disease and at the advice of her doctor, and claimed she was being kept from working elsewhere during her “unpaid leave.”
Blue Bloods meanwhile is rotating in new characters played by Megan Ketch and Megan Goode to sub for her Detective Jackie Curatola.
CBS and CBS TV Studios have recruited another actress to fill the void left by co-star Jennifer Esposito being sidelined with Celiac disease. Law & Order: LA alumna Megan Boone has been tapped to play a new temporary partner for Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). Her deal is for three episodes with a series option behind it.
In a move that has stirred controversy, Esposito was put on medical leave recently after her doctor advised her to reduce her work load from full- to part-time, a request the studio said it could not accommodate given the demands of the role. CBS left the door for Esposito to return but in the interim, it is bringing in actresses to play revolving partners for Danny, starting with Megan Ketch, who is filming four episodes. She will be followed by Boone. Coincidentally, Esposito was among several actresses tried out as temporary partners for Danny in guest arcs at the beginning of Season 1 before she got the gig full-time. Boone’s option also allows her to become a regular should a need arise.
Jennifer Esposito took to Twitter to react to Boone’s casting. “There it is. CBS got rid of the only minority cast member so they can have an ALL WHITE CAST like CSI,” she wrote.
Also on Twitter, Esposito last weekend called the move to sideline her “shameful behavior.” She has expressed her desire to return to Blue Bloods, and there are several online petitions by fans launched in her support. Boone, recently seen in Step Up Revolution, is repped by Gersh and Circle Of Confusion
Jackie Curatola is leaving the force, at least for now. Blue Bloods co-star Jennifer Esposito, who plays Detective Danny Reagan’s (Donnie Wahlberg) partner, is departing the CBS drama series for the foreseeable future. “Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule,” CBS TV Studios said in a statement. “As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.” The studio would not comment on Esposito’s reasons to ask for the significant workload reduction, but the actress has been public about her struggles with Celiac Disease. She has become a Celiac advocate, educating people about disease and helping those like her who have it.
On Twitter, Jennifer Esposito disputed CBS TV Studios’ account of why she is going on a leave, slamming them for sidelining her, which she called “absolutely shameful behavior.”
“CBS PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac,” she wrote. “CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping Me from working anywhere else!… Absolutely shameful behavior.”