When Blue Blood actress Jennifer Esposito told CBS she needed to cut down her hours on set, the network acquiesced by cutting her from the show completely. Technically Esposito’s character, Detective Jackie Curatola, will go on a “leave of absence” from the unit, starting after the November 2 episode airs. The actress has already finished filming on the show.
The background is that Esposito suffers from celiac disease. She says her doctor ordered her to cut down on hours and CBS is maintaining that to make that work for the actress’ character, they had to cut her out until further notice. On Saturday, when Deadline first reported the news, CBS was simply stating Esposito’s demanded work schedule would clash with what they needed her for.
“Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”
According to Esposito, that’s not even half the story. The actress fired back at the network on Twitter, spending part of Saturday explaining the situation. Esposito alleges her doctor simply said she needed to have reduced hours on set due to celiac complications and she feels the network should have been a little more understanding. Various postings on the social networking site get to the meat of what the actress feels is the problem.
“After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without [bringing] me back to work + keeping me from working anywhere else! So no that article is not telling you the truth. Absolutely shameful behavior.”
From what CBS has stated, Esposito seems to be going a little over-the-top with her rant. Sure, it sucks to be told no, and the actress would certainly not have wanted to cut back on her hours unless she was ill. However, she plays lead actor Donnie Wahlberg’s partner on the show. Her role is super important, and if she can’t be there every week, the writers would have one hell of a time trying to figure out an alternative. It would be different if she were playing someone’s wife or the office manager detective, etc. but that’s not the way the cookie crumbled. Esposito’s needs have put both parties under strain, but CBS seems to want to bring the detective back if she can handle the schedule. After the Twitter outbreak, I’m not sure the offer will still stand.