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Sela Ward

Stefanie Keenan/WireImage.com

Fresh on the heels of Melina Kanakaredes surprise exit, CBS has announced CSI: NY's new leading lady: Sela Ward.

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

Here's what you need to know about the New York's latest import:

Sela hits the scene in the premiere this fall as an investigator from Washington, D.C., who is basically the anti-Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), using empathy to feed her desire to aid victims. Sounds pretty great, no?

"I am thrilled to be working with Gary and this terrific group of people," the Emmy-winning actress says. "I'm a huge fan."

And with her following, she'll no doubt bring along some new CSI: NY fans to the mix.

Thoughts on this casting scoop? More sweet so-longs to pass along to Melina? Grace us with your input below!

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