Blue Bloods Gives Danny Another New Partner as Jennifer Esposito's Lawyers Review Options

Megan Boone, Jennifer EspositoLaw & Order: LA alum Megan Boone will be partnering up with Blue Bloods‘ Danny for at least three episodes — stepping in for Jennifer Esposito – our sister site Deadline reports.

Boone — whose casting comes with the option to become a series regular, if need be — will succeed Megan Ketch (A Gifted Man), who is set appear in four episodes as the first of Danny’s rotating new partners.

RELATED | Blue Bloods‘ Jennifer Esposito Departs Show, Slams CBS For Its ‘Shameful Behavior’

The need to cast new partners for Danny came as the result of Esposito and the CBS drama parting ways, at least temporarily, under circumstances that are in dispute.

As reported earlier this week, CBS says the actress requested “a very limited part-time schedule” that the demands of the role could not accommodate, so they put her character, Det. Jackie Curatola, on a leave of absence. Esposito however says the network knows her request is the result of her battle with Celiac Disease and the advice of her doctor, and claims she is being kept from working elsewhere during her “unpaid leave.”

Esposito’s legal team, a source tells the New York Post, is “negotiating with CBS to see if she can be reinstated on the show” — without having to resort to a lawsuit. “They hope to reach a deal for a special accommodation to be made for her disease while working on an episodic TV show.”

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43 Comments
  1. Amy says:

    CBS really should just let her go. The longer this gets dragged out, the worse the situation gets. It’s one thing if someone runs off and flakes (ex. Mandy Patinkin on Criminal Minds), but when someone is acting according to doctor’s orders, then employers need to listen. If they’re unwilling to work with Jennifer and what she needs, then let her go.

    • cuius says:

      It’s usually the company providing insurance have the biggest say in these cases

    • ray says:

      But under law, you can’t fire someone due to a medical condition.

      I think if they are to release her from her contract, then she should be paid her full salary on what remains of the contract AND allow her to seek future employment elsewhere with no penalty. It’ll cost CBS and the producers, but it’s the correct way of handling a situation like this.

      I think ideally, they can also re-write the direction of the character and include a medical debilitating issue with the character. Thereby allowing Jennifer her real-life medically required break AND it still services her character. They could even write in that her character has Celiac’s Disease and explore how such a condition would affect a police officer/detective.

      This just seems like a lot of posturing on CBS’ part (and possibly on Espesito’s as well, although let’s assume that she’s being completely upfront about her health).

      • Amy says:

        I realize now I was unclear in my original post. I wasn’t advocating that CBS should fire her. That’s far from what I meant. I meant that if they are unable to work with her and devise a schedule that works for both of them, then she should be allowed out of her contract and not be treated this way. The way things sound now, CBS is behaving in a pretty abhorrent manner. If Jennifer does pursue legal action, CBS doesn’t seem to have much of a case. A person’s health is more important than a darn show. All CBS has to do is devise a way for her character to leave (and really, she plays a cop, not that hard to think of a plausible storyline) and let her out of the contract. She shouldn’t be punished for listening to her doctor and taking care of herself. (There may be much more to this, but the info that’s out there, it’s hard to not feel like CBS is being ridiculous and morally reprehensible. There are laws out there that protect individuals in situations like this.)

      • Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

        People need to stop saying you can’t let someone go over a medical condition because that is absolutely not true. There are laws in place like the Family Medical Leave Act that give you leave while recovering from illness, injury, birth of a child, etc., but the time runs out eventually. If you cannot get back to the work hours required for the job they are fully within their rights to let you go. They don’t have to accommodate you with a part time schedule if you were hired to work a full time job. They may choose to do so, but are not obligated to do so. People that think this is the case are in for a rude awakening if they ever get sick and miss a prolonged amount of work. They may or may not accommodate you and there is no law on your side, not even the ADA, that can help you if you can no longer fulfill the duties of your job. Cutting a full time job to part time is not “reasonable accommodation” either.

        • Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

          And to add to that I can see CBS’s position here. She is too sick to work on their show, but not sick enough to ask out of her contract so that she can work elsewhere? Sorry but that is suspicious and it is not a secret that she wants CBS to pay her more. This sounds more like a contract dispute with one side trying to use a medical condition as leverage than anything else. As was noted before, her disease doesn’t seem to put a dent in her social life, just her work life.

          • John DeMayo says:

            It’s really very simple. What is at issue here, is that CBS isn’t letting her appear on the show, but also won’t release her from her contract. She is well enough to work on a part-time basis, and if CBS doesn’t like that, then she has the right to find work somewhere that does accommodate her.

          • Wendy says:

            If they let her out of her contract she could find work that is less demanding. Like the article said, her original agreement was for part-time work. Unless you have ever had a condition that restricted you in anyway, then you are speaking out the side of you mouth. ( To put it politely)

      • CAM says:

        There is probably something in the contract regarding this. It’s not the first time something like this has happened. I am sorry about her medical condition, but if she is unable to meet the requirements of the role they should be able to let her go. Put her on leave and let her work “a very limited part-time schedule” elsewhere. If she’s ill enough that she can only work such limited hours, she shouldn’t have a full time job. they could change her status to “recurring” and make it so she’s no longer Danny’s partner, and simply make changes to her contract. CBS isn’t stupid. There’s more to this most likely.

      • LORRAINE PATA says:

        I AGREE!! SHE HAS AMEDICAL CONDITION, AND IS A GREAT ACTRESS!! THAT IS WHAT PUTS THIS SHOW TOGETHER. WHAT IS ALITTLE BREAK. HAVING A DISABILITY, IS A HARDSHIP!!! WE HAVE TO THANK GOD SHE GOT THIS FAR. IM PROUD OF HER. KEEP GOING JENNIFER. DONT GIVE UP!!! THE PUBLIC LOVES YOU!!! I DOUBT THAT SHE IS LYING ABOUT HER CONDITION, AS IT CAN BE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE IF QUESTIONED. THEY CAN ALSO, LET YOU INDICATED HELP THE PEOPLE WITH CLELIAC’S iF THEY WRITE THIS IN THE SCRIPT. IT WILL BRING PUBLIC AWARENESS. THANK YOU RAY FOR SHARING . IT HELP THE PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY, KNOW THEIR ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE LIKE YOU. WHO CARE. LORRAINE PATA

  2. Tracey says:

    Come on CBS work with Jennifer…. I love the character she plays on Blue Bloods and for someone to come in and replace her just doesn’t seem fair. Isn’t the story of the show more about the Reagan family and less of a Jackie & Danny crime fighting show. Just saying.

    • Tiffany says:

      Lately it is the Jackie/Danny crime fighting show. Instead of replacing her, they should give her a more limited role and give Jamie some more screen time. Allegedly, he’s a Reagan too.

      • Sam says:

        Right? I want to see more of Jamie, love Will Estes!

        • Curly Girly says:

          I totally agree with this; not that I don’t love Danny/Donnie Wahlberg, but I think that the rest of the Reagans need more screen time. After all, isn’t it supposed to be an ensemble show? That’s why I started watching in the first place.

      • sarah says:

        Totally agree! I am a Donny Whalberg fan BUT I am also a Will Estes fan and last season and this season it has become the Donnie Whalberg show. Tom Selleck and Bridget Moynahan are both in it alot also. I have always said that one week the show can centre around Danny and Jackie with some Frank and Erin and the family dinner. Then the next week it can centre around Jaime and his partner and some Frank and Erin and the family dinner.
        The show was more balanced the first season and they need to get back to that.
        In regards to Jennifer on twitter calling CBS racist, it may be unfair to comment as we do not know the real story BUT Nicholas Tutorro is still on the show some times and Jamie’s new partner is an actor names Sebastian Sozzi and he is not white…..so I think if she keeps going on the racist track she will find herself seved with a lawsuit by CBS. If she really feels that way then she should take them to court and maybe keep off twitter for a bit.

      • Bob says:

        I really miss Jennifer, they feature Danny so much and she really completes him.
        They should bring her back if only on a part time basis.
        It is not the same without her.
        Bob

    • Becky says:

      Come on CBS – this disease can be treated with medications and diet. I too love the character she plays. Her replacement just doesn’t fit the part. Need to put Jennifer back on the show.

  3. Celyn says:

    The thing I don’t get is that I know several people with Celiac disease and they lead full lives. They don’t get accommodations with their work schedule. They avoid what they’re not supposed to eat – mainly gluten – which I’m sure the catering company that Blue Bloods/CBS uses would be willing to make some adjustments so that there’s things for her to have. I’m wondering if there’s more to the story than what’s being told.

    • ray says:

      @Celyn, there are two things to address:

      1) Yes, many folks who suffer from Celiac’s Disease have it much easier, although it’s my understanding that there are many others who have a much more difficult time with it. On a dietary level, gluten is literally in almost everything. It’s not just an issue of avoiding pasta and bread. And any exposure to it can be extremely painful for some folks. So we should at least go in with the understanding that how people are impacted by this disease is not something that is common across the board.

      2) One-hour television production in the US can be long and strenuous days/weeks. Some shows shoot 16-18 hour days, 8 day straight and then take one day off, before they start on the next episode. Ensemble shows are all the more difficult sometimes due to needing to coordinate the numerous actors, crew and executives. Additionally, Blue Blood often films on “live” locations, creating additional challenges in production (but allows for that real NY feel to the series). They also do not work typical 9-5 hours, often requiring to shoot late at night/early in the morning. It can be very grueling (though let’s note that most actors who work on any primetime network show are also very well compensated). This is all to say that due to the less-than-ordinary shooting schedule, it may very well affect Jennifer’s health in a detrimental manner.

    • Amanda says:

      Her Celiac may affect her differently than the people you know. For some people it can be more than a gluten intolerance – there can be years upon years of damage to their body to deal with as well.

    • erin says:

      There are drastically different levels of celiac. If you have a severe case, it can flare up due to lack of sleep (working long days on a TV show), stress, and a number of other things besides just gluten. Gluten is a very small piece of the puzzle for someone with severe celiac.

  4. Doug-H says:

    She’s not an employee.. she’s an independent contractor like most of these lead actors are… I’m sure her insurance is with the union not CBS…..

  5. Angel Torres says:

    Is it all being worked into the script or are the two actresses playing her? Will she be like sick on the show and they’ll be subs in character as well or are they just playing her?

  6. TV Gord says:

    The ball is really now in CBS/insurance company’s court. Do they want the bad publicity associated with hitting a woman when she’s down? I can see letting her go because she can’t play the role she was hired to play, but stopping her from making a living elsewhere is crossing a line. Hopefully, a compromise can be found that will let them part amicably.

  7. Linderella says:

    CBS had no problem waiting out Charlie Sheen’s antics yet an employee has a debilitating medical condition and they are not working with her. I think the problem is they have already established the Danny/Jackie dynamic as a positive (married) male/female work relationship and the producers want to sex things up. Otherwise, why are both of her replacements female?

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t understand why she can’t work with Celiac’s Disease. From what I understand, she’ll be fine as long as she eats gluten free foods. It doesn’t appear to affect Sarah Brown (from General Hospital and the Bold and the Beautiful) from working, and soap actors have crazier schedules than primetime and movie actors.

    I do hope that she is doing alright, but her reasoning for the legal issues sounds fishy. If she can’t work on Blue Bloods why would she be worried about working elsewhere while away on sick leave? You can’t take sick leave from a regular job and go work somewhere else.

    • Punkin2x74 says:

      Being a celiac isnt just avoiding gluten. That’s only half of it. But you also have to make sure there is no cross contamination also. And shes not asking for time off. She was initially hired as a part time actress and they like many of employers expanded the hours needed to work. Its taking a toll on her body and she needs to take care of herself. Shes asking them to go back to part time because its causing flares.

  9. Sandra says:

    This isn’t working. Give Jennifer the time she needs but bring her back. This new partner crap sucks. I may have to quit watching til they do.

  10. I miss Jennifer Esposito! She is perfect as Danny’s partner, and plays her part EXTREMELY well. She’s a true New Yorker! The replacement on now, just doesn’t cut it with me. BRING JENNIFER BACK!

  11. Keep Jennifer i love ex New Yorker, live in ca. Show is great!!!!

  12. Brat says:

    I love jennifer, but having chronic illness is really hard to work around depending on how long you’ve been living with it. I LOVED the chemistry between wahlberg and esposito, however, I think that a compromise between the two should be another option. Why not have esposito’s character be transferred to svu and do guest appearances? It worked for law and order svu or mariska hargitay when she considered not coming back from maternity. ;)

  13. LORRAINE PATA says:

    I THINK JENNIFER SHOULD STAY!@!!!!!!!! AMY, DID YOU EVERR HAVE A DISABILITY?? WELL IF NOT, MIND YOUR BUSINESS!! MANDY PATANKIN IS A GREAT MAN!!! THE ONLY FLAKE HERE IS YOU, AND YOU SOUND LIKE YOU IN THE FLOWER POWER YEARS. GOD BLESS. LORRAINE PATA. C.B.S. PLEASE KEEP JENNIER ESPOSITO, STOP BEING PREDJUDICE AGAINST HER DISABILITY. SHE IS A GREAT ACTRESS!!! GO JENNIFER.

  14. Maria diguardo says:

    The chemistry between Danny and Jackie was real….loved the scenes with her in it. Agree with some previous comments, bring Jennifer back, just work her less, after all right now Danny isn’t shown with his partner as much as when Jennifer was on

  15. Rick says:

    I want Jennifer back, she is an excellent actress, suits the role better than any of the fill-ins so far, and is darn nice to look at.

  16. Nancy says:

    I miss her/ she was great for Danny /they should work with her

  17. Tammy Burnett says:

    I think its very sad how jennifer is being treated,She didn’t ask to become ill.CBS needs to pay her out of her contract so she can go work for a network that will work with her due to her illness.But I personally don’t think CBS will be able to find another actress to play opposite of danny as well as jennifer does, so far every actress I’ve seen really sucks at it.CBS is getting ridiculous anymore, if it was Julie Chen sick it would be another whole ball game and you know it.Being that she’s married to the big dog and all.

  18. Beverly Karr says:

    This makes me mad. I am not going to watch the boring show with the UGLY B**ch they chose. I am done with this show

  19. Donald Bails says:

    She was one of my favorites the one named Baez is also very good hope thy can find roles for both of the on the show.I find the show overall very satisfying except for the little snip Nicky and the blond partner of Jamie I fast forward when they appear on the screen and Danny needs to rid himself of the scruffy looking beard