Sela Ward joins 'CSI: NY'

Will make debut in season premiere this fall

Sela Ward is joining the cast of CBS' "CSI: NY." The news comes a day after the show's longtime star Melina Kanakaredes announced she will be leaving the series.

Ward will play an experienced investigator from Washington D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim, according to the network.

She will make her first appearance in the season premiere when the show moves to Fridays at 9 p.m. this fall.

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

"I am thrilled to be working with Gary and this terrific group of people," said Ward. "I'm a huge fan."