ABC has found its new mistress: Former Blue Bloods actress Jennifer Esposito is returning to TV to co-star in the summer soap. She’s been cast in a new series regular role that replaces the position vacated by Alyssa Milano, who quit the show last fall after co-starring in the first two seasons.
Esposito’s character is named Calista and she’s described by ABC as “uber-fabulous and larger-than-life, with a wicked sense of humor and style. Calista is the Creative Director of a luxury fashion brand and has the high-class socialite lifestyle that goes with it. Look beneath the surface, however, and we see her loneliness too – a woman whose fun eccentricities cloak a darker, more devious nature. Calista will become Joss’ (Jes Macallan) friend, mentor, and surrogate sister – drawing Joss deeper and deeper into a world of secrets and betrayal.”
Milano said left the show after the studio decided to relocate the production from Los Angeles to Vancouver to save money and the actress explained she didn’t want to spend that much time away from her family. Esposito also had an unusual exit from a network show when she departed Blue Bloods after 46 episodes during a conflict with CBS about her work schedule while she was battling Celiac disease.
Still to come is how producers plan to creatively address Milano’s departure, with one producer teasing there will not be a time jump in the story while assuring actors the plan is “brilliant.”