Why Did Sela Ward Leave 'FBI'? The Writing Was Always on the Wall

“You can’t play a 35-year-old when you’re 67. I think for an actor — for me, anyway — I always want to do projects that have something to say.”

Melissa Willets - Author

Apr. 9 2024, Updated 11:12 a.m. ET

Sela Ward attends the The Hollywood Reporter's 9th Annual Most Powerful People In Media at The Pool on April 11, 2019 in New York City
Source: Getty Images

The seemingly always camera-ready Sela Ward has starred in her fair share of TV shows during her decades-long Hollywood career.

One fan favorite part was Sela's portrayal as Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier on FBI.

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So why did the actor leave the CBS show after just one season back in 2019?

Here's what we know about Sela's departure from FBI, which incidentally, was a show that initially cast another actor in the lead role.

Connie Nielsen attends the pink carpet during the 5th Canneseries Festival on April 3, 2022
Source: Getty Images
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So, why did Sela Ward leave 'FBI' after Season 1?

As die-hard fans may recall, Sela replaced actor Connie Nielsen after the FBI pilot, although the reason behind the switch was never fully revealed, per Screenrant.

Connie moved on to many other roles in Hollywood, but becoming a staple in the FBI universe was apparently not meant to be.

Meanwhile, Sela stepped in and played Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier for the remaining episodes of Season 1.

But almost as soon as she became adored by fans, in 2019, the Season 1 finale would mark the end of Sela's time on the wildly popular CBS show, with her character announcing her resignation.

"So grateful for my time on FBI,” the star wrote on social media at the time. “Such a wonderful show with an amazing cast and crew.”

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If she loved the experience so much, why did she leave?

Well, as for why Sela's time on the drama was so short-lived, she reportedly only joined FBI under a one-year contract, which was not renewed, and thus, she said goodbye to Dana Mosier and the series, for good.

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Where has Sela Ward been since leaving 'FBI'?

Interestingly, Sela hasn't been seen much on our screens, big or small, since her exit from FBI.

That's not to say that Sela hasn't had an amazing career — or that it's necessarily over, either. More on what the future might hold for Sela in a moment.

First, as fans will recall, she began her Hollywood tenure in the 1980s, appearing on several iconic TV shows in bit roles, including L.A. Law and Night Court.

A smattering of TV movies later, and Sela made a name for herself in the hit movie The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

Since that time, the charismatic brunette has appeared in dozens of TV and movie roles, notably portraying Jo Danville in CSI: NY before joining FBI.

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But as the Mississippi native, who spent many years balancing work with motherhood, shared in a February 2024 interview with the Magnolia Tribune, Sela recently told her manager, “I don’t think I’m done," and is wondering what should come next for her.

Although she doesn't know the answer to that question, Sela said, “You can’t play a 35-year-old when you’re 67. I think for an actor — for me, anyway — I always want to do projects that have something to say.”

While we don't know where we may see Sela next, there's no doubt that as fans, we are ready to embrace whatever path she may take, and will definitely be tuning in!

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