Moving swiftly to fill the gap left by the departed Melina Kanakaredes, CBS' "CSI: NY" has added Sela Ward to its cast.

 
A two-time Emmy winner, Ward will make her first "CSI: NY" appearance in the season premiere when the drama begins its seventh season in a new Friday night 9 p.m. home.
 
"We are delighted to have Sela joining 'CSI: NY,'" states Executive Producer Pam Veasey. "With the exciting stories planned for Season 7, she'll be a dynamic addition to the cast and the team."
 
CBS' statement announcing Ward's addition to the cast describes her character as "an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim."
 
She joins a "CSI: NY" ensemble that includes Gary Sinise, Carmine Giovinazzo, Eddie Cahill, Anna Belknap, Hill Harper, A.J. Buckley and Robert Joy. 
 
The move came exactly one day after many TV observers were surprised by the joint statement announcing Kanakaredes' exit from "CSI: NY." Ward's name immediately popped up atop the list of rumored replacements and no time was wasted.
 
"I am thrilled to be working with Gary and this terrific group of people," states Ward. "I'm a huge fan."
 
Ward has been nominated for four Emmys, winning in 1994 for "Sisters" and in 2000 for "Once and Again." Her most recent TV role was a recurring part on "House," plus big screen turns in "The Stepfather," "The Day After Tomorrow," and "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights."