Rochelle Aytes Joins CBS’ ‘Watson’, Departing ‘S.W.A.T.’ As Series Regular

EXCLUSIVE: Rochelle Aytes is leaving S.W.A.T. as a series regular. In a quick turnaround, she has joined another CBS procedural, the upcoming medical drama Watson headlined by Morris Chestnut.

In a surprising move, CBS last month renewed S.W.A.T. for an eighth season having previously canceled the show after six seasons before reversing that decision to pick up a seventh and final season. As new deals had to be made with the cast, Aytes, who plays Nichelle Carmichael, was not invited back as a series regular but the producers want to keep her in the S.W.A.T. universe as Hondo’s (Moore) wife and mother to their child, and the hope is that she will recur next season.

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In a classic “when one door closes” situation, shortly after Aytes became available, she was approached for a series regular role on Watson, which is produced by CBS Studios.

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The other series regulars on S.W.A.T., co-produced by Sony TV and CBS Studios, are returning, and the show will be adding a new female SWAT team member as a recurring guest star with the possibility of becoming a series regular, I hear.

Created by Craig Sweeny, Watson is a medical show with a strong investigative spine, featuring a modern version of one of history’s greatest detectives (Chestnut) as he turns his attention from solving crimes to solving medical mysteries.

Aytes will play Dr. Mary Morstan, one of the best surgeons on the East Coast, and the Medical Director of the hospital. She is equally adept at being a voice of reason for and serving reality checks to her ex-husband, Dr. Watson (Chestnut). She has great respect for Watson and, while she appreciates his sleuthing when it comes to medical mysteries, she can also become irritated by his unorthodox approach to the business of medicine.

Production on Watson, which is slated for a midseason launch on Sundays, is slated to begin next week in Canada. S.W.A.T. films in California.

This marks Rochelle’s eleventh series regular role. She has been S.W.A.T. for five seasons, starting as a recurring and becoming a series regular at the start of Season 6. She is repped by Innovative Artists and Ryan Daly of Zero Gravity Management.

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