EW.com talks to Charlotte Ross and Esai Morales about joining ABC's Emmy winning drama

By Sandra P. Angulo
Updated March 20, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Charlotte Ross: Paul Smith/Feature Flash/Retna

NYPD Blue

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The cast changes never seem to stop on ”NYPD Blue.” Not only are series regulars Kim Delaney (Det. Diane Russell) and James McDaniel (Lieut. Arthur Fancy) leaving ABC’s Emmy winning drama (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.) this year, two more cast members are joining the ensemble. Not that entrances and exits seem to bother audiences: It’s still a Top 20 show. Last week, Charlotte Ross (Showtime’s ”Beggars and Choosers”) joined the squad as Detective Connie McDowell, Russell’s new partner. And on April 3, Esai Morales makes his entrance as Tony Rodriguez, a hotshot lieutenant who replaces a newly promoted Captain Fancy.

EW.com talked to the rookies about their characters, working with Emmy winner Dennis Franz, and the inevitability of on screen love scenes.

What kind of cops are these guys?
Morales I play a smart, educated lieutenant who’s not to be messed with — someone not unlike Steven Bochco, who himself started off as a young boss. I’m a former undercover narcotics agent who likes to get my hands dirty in the investigations, which sort of pisses Sipowicz off.
Ross She’s younger and on the tougher, more sarcastic side than Russell. I’ve had to prove myself a little more, because I’m this petite blonde in an all boys club.

Episode Recaps

Who do you tick off first?
Morales After only two or three episodes I’m already having a confrontation with Sipowicz. He doesn’t like the fact that I do some of the interviews and lets me know it. It gets pretty heated.
Ross I think I’m just easing my way into becoming a part of the precinct’s everyday cases. I think in the beginning, Gordy (Greg Medavoy) thinks I must be an informant and doesn’t trust me. I do a really intense sexual assault case with Henry (Baldwin Jones) and Gordy and prove I’m worthy to join the squad. Then gradually I start being buddy buddy with the crew.

NYPD Blue

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