The addition puts in place a successor for William Petersen, who has led the franchise’s ensemble as investigator Gil Grissom since its debut in 2000 and will leave as a regular after this season’s 10th episode.
Fishburne will be introduced in the ninth episode of what will be the ninth season for the CBS crime procedural. His character, a former pathologist and college lecturer on criminalistics, will cross paths with the CSI team and eventually join the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
"CBS asked us, 'Who's at the top of your dream list?'” CSI executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar said in a statement. "Without hesitation, we said, ‘Laurence Fishburne.’ He is a powerful and intense actor with an incredible range. We had the opportunity to see Mr. Fishburne in Thurgood on Broadway a few weeks ago, and it was a truly profound experience.”
They continued, “Mr. Fishburne is also a talented writer and director. If you distill CSI down to its essence, it's a collaboration, and we are so looking forward to collaborating with Mr. Fishburne. For all of us at CSI, this is truly a dream."
"I am elated and delighted to be joining the cast of CSI," Fishburne said in a statement. "I look forward to a wonderful collaboration with the creative and talented team of such a successful and distinguished show.”
The Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning actor is currently appearing on Broadway in a one-man show about the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall.