Sela Ward

Sela Ward has been tapped to replace Melina Kanakaredes on CSI: NY, CBS announced Tuesday.

Melina Kanakaredes exits CSI: NY

"We are delighted to have Sela joining CSI: NY," executive producer Pam Veasey said in a statement. "With the exciting stories planned for Season 7, she'll be a dynamic addition to the cast and the team."

Ward, a two-time Emmy winner and Golden Globe winner for her roles on Sisters and Once and Again, will play an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. She will first appear in the season premiere.

Ward was reported as the frontrunner to star opposite Gary Sinise almost immediately after Kanakaredes' exit was announced Monday. In her own statement, Ward said, "I am thrilled to be working with Gary and this terrific group of people. I'm a huge fan."

Season 7 of CSI: NY will air on Fridays at 9/8c this fall.