Things are going to look a little bit different when fans tune in to CSI’s ninth season in the fall. Just as viewers have adjusted to Jorja Fox leaving the series, it’s been announced that the procedural drama will be losing another longtime cast member. According to Michael Ausiello at TV Guide, actor Gary Dourdan, who plays Warrick Brown, has informed producers that he’ll be leaving the show when his contract expires next month. Although it’s not known when Dourdan will shoot his final episode, it’s likely that CSI‘s May 15 season finale will be Warrick’s swan song.
Ausiello states that a CBS spokesperson would not confirm or deny the story, but that CSI execs are already on the lookout for Dourdan’s replacement. The producers have put out a casting call for a new male series regular in his late twenties to early thirties to play Ray Santoro, a “handsome, smart and athletic” CSI who transfers from Henderson to join the graveyard shift at the Las Vegas crime lab.
This news comes shortly after the network successfully negotiated with William Petersen to renew the actor’s contract for a ninth season. Though the contracts for Marg Helgenberger and George Eads have yet to be renewed, both actors are expected to sign on the dotted line.
Will a couple of new faces help bring fresh life to CSI in its ninth season, or are these exits ultimately harmful to the show? While I always enjoyed Warrick’s character, he doesn’t seem as integral to the show as Fox’s Sara Sidle, and I don’t expect his exit to cause too many problems for the writers.
Since CBS has yet to confirm this story, there’s been no official announcement as to why Dourdan is leaving the show. I’d guess his decision was either based on money or the desire to do something new. Playing one role for eight seasons can be tough on an actor, so it’s possible that Dourdan is looking to branch out. Will CSI be the same without him?
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)