Esai Morales joins “Chicago PD” in major new role

Esai Morales: A new face on “Chicago PD”

ESAI MORALES (NYPD BLUE) is back on the beat with a new recurring role on “Chicago PD,” as Chief Lugo, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. The new character will be introduced in a three-show crossover, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chief Lugo grew up and flourished in the “old style” policing methods of the department. Now, he’s doing his best as a chief to steer the CPD towards the new style of policing.

Morales’ new role will be introduced in the March 1 three-show crossover between “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and forthcoming third spinoff, “Chicago Justice.” All three crossover episodes will air back-to-back on the same night, from 8 to 11 p.m.

Additionally, Bradley Whitford will guest-star in the three-show crossover.

Morales will then appear in future episodes of “Chicago PD.” He is the latest new face to come to District 21, joining former “Revenge” star Nick Wechsler and “Quantico” grad Li Jun Li, who had a multi-episode arc earlier this season.

New season regulars on “Chicago Justice” will be Jon Seda, transferring from “Chicago PD,” and Samuel Hunt, whose character, tech expert Mouse, decided to re-enlist with the Army, but who just moved a few stages over to a recurring role on “Empire.”

Also look for Tim Kazurinsky as a judge in a future episode.

Morales first worked in Chicago in 1983 co-starring with Sean Penn in the feature, “Bad Boys.” His many other credits include “La Bamba,” “Criminal Minds,” “24, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” “Magic City and the upcoming Netflix Jason Bateman-Laura Linney series “Ozark.”

HEALTHCARE AGENCY ABELSONTAYLOR promoted Mitch Apley to VP/ director of broadcast/print production, from senior director of broadcast/print production. He reports to Stephen Neale, SVP/ECD.

Live action director and producer Apley joined AbelsonTaylor full-time in 2011 as executive producer, from six years at Resolution Digital Studios after having worked with AbelsonTaylor for 15 years, directing sales training videos for client websites. Since coming aboard full-time, he has led or managed every broadcast spot and video the agency has produced.

In his new position, Apley will continue to lead the agency’s broadcast production department, including Dose, an in-house, full service digital art and animation company that incorporates motion design, video, 3D modeling, art, animation and illustration.

Earlier, he had been general manager, account executive and live action director at Post Effects. While there, he took a year off to produce a two-hour doc for A&E about Saudi Arabia and its relationship with the United States.

He has made independent films, commercials, corporate videos and documentaries, including those in the healthcare arena profiling organizations such as the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, MIT’s HackMed group and more.

Recently, Apley received Silver Rx Club and Gold National Health Information Awards.

He has represented AbelsonTaylor at several development and awards programs around the world, including engagements as a presenter at the 2016 FilmFly 2-day seminar in Estonia for the Estonian Film Institute and as a moderator for “When Medicine Rocks” panel at Cannes for the 2016 Lions Health Awards.

On Feb. 15-16, he will moderate a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit

WOMEN IN FILM FOCUS AWARDS Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Columbia College will honor Tari Segal, DP / operator on “Chicago Justice;” Julia Sweeney, “SNL” alum, screenwriter and comedienne; Mary Morten, CEO Morten Group, writer, producer, director and Julie Smolyansky, producer, CEO Lifeway Foods Inc.

At 1104 Wabash Ave., 8th floor, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 and may be purchased here

Proceeds will be used to provide quality programming, networking and mentorship opportunities for women in film, RC and advertising industries and to honor the accomplishments of women who continually put Chicago on the map.