Finally, it has been confirmed that Laurence Fishburne of the iconic Matrix film series will be replacing William Petersen as the head honcho for CSI when he leaves some time next season.  Rumors began circulating as early as mid-July to last week, but everything’s been drowned by pre-Olympics buzz.  To kind of appease his loyal and massive fan base (some of whom view Petersen as the very heart of CSI), the producers promised that he will return for occasional guest appearances as Gil Grissom after his last episode, the tenth in the season.

“There’s never going to be another William Petersen, and there will never be another Jorja Fox.  But we are not out to just replace those actors.  We’re out to add new characters to the show, and the show will change as a result.  But that’s a good thing,” assures CSI executive producer Carol Mendelsohn.

Apparently, that assurance is not good enough for some CSI fans. They point out that Petersen, or Grissom for that matter, creates the show’s “offbeat” character that separates it from the other CSI franchises.  Some refuse to accept Fishburne because they argue he’s too big an actor and will therefore take some screen time from the old-timers.  Producers pointed out that Liz Vassey (Wendy Simms) and Wallace Langham (David Hodges) are both being promoted to main characters.

On the other hand, some applaud the move of Fishburne replacing Petersen.  He is, after all, a huge actor with an impressive resume under his belt, plus a little remainder that the show is less about actors and more about forensic science and exceptional cases.

In some related news, Entertainment Weekly reported that it found a month-old interview with Petersen supposedly revealing a condition which may have kept Petersen on the show (it was his personal decision to leave, to branch out).  Back when Live Schreiber’s character Keppler was alive some two years ago, Petersen said he and Schreiber could’ve swapped every four months.

“He does a play, I do CSI.  I do a play, he does CSI.  It would’ve been like a professional relationship between two scientists that go off on field trips and sabbaticals and then come back.  But I don’t know that the network would have wanted that,” he said.

-Glenn L. Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source:, Entertainment Weekly
(Image Courtesy of

Glenn Diaz

Staff Writer, BuddyTV