It seems that I’m a little late to the game – it was announced in August that Amanda Righetti and Owain Yeoman. Somehow I missed the news until now. The two stars have been with the series since it began; Righetti plays Speciall Agent Grace Van Pelt, and Yeoman plays Special Agent Wayne Rigsby. Bruno Heller, the creator of The Mentalist, said, “I can neither confirm nor deny, but this is the most dramatic and game- changing season and anything can happen.”
Two new series regulars – one male, and one female – will be introduced in early 2014, most likely to fill the vacancies created by Righetti and Yeoman.
Of course, The Mentalist isn’t the only CBS show experiencing some turmoil among its cast members. Cote de Pablo left NCIS at the beginning of this season, and her absence (as Special Agent Ziva David) has created quite a void. Which leads me to this – CBS has just announced that they have found a replacement for de Pablo – Emily Wickersham.
Wickersham will play “NSA Analyst Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Bishop, a mysterious mixture of analytic brilliance, fierce determination and idealism, who specializes in international threat assessment and global preparation.”
De Pablo’s announcement that she wanted to leave caught the show by surprise last spring, leaving TV’s biggest drama in the hunt for a replacement, though TV website, TVLine, said mid-September that Wickersham, who had just signed a three-episode deal with an option for full-time employment, was essentially a lock.
Now, according to executive producer Gary Glasberg, it’s official. “Emily Wickersham’s Ellie Bishop is proving to perfectly compliment the NCIS team,” he said. “Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Great things are planned for Bishop and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on board.” She joins the show on November 19th.
Wickersham was in the first season of FX’s “The Bridge” (as Annabeth Gish’s characters’s stepdaughter), but more famously (and briefly) was A.J.’s (Robert Iler) girlfriend on “The Sopranos,” Rhiannon Flammer.