Laurence Fishburne joins CSI

It was revealed yesterday that Laurence Fishburne will be joining CSI in its ninth season. He’ll be replacing William Petersen, who stated this summer of leaving the number-one series to pursue other opportunities.

A veteran of stage and screen, Fishburne has been known to moviegoers for his Oscar-nominated turn as Ike Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It?, and as Morpheus in the highly successful Matrix trilogy.

Both the 47-year-old and executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar spoke to Kristin Dos Santos on E! Online yesterday on what’s ahead for the new season, Petersen’s going and Fishburne’s coming:

  • Fishburne’s character is code-name “the Professor,” who has a background in research pathology, but was forced out of his career. He is now teaching criminology at a college when an investigation occurs there.
  • He’ll come on in episode nine to work together with Gil Grissom (Petersen) on the case. Shooting will start later next month, and “the Professor” is expected to debut in either December or early next year.
  • Don’t expect Fishburne to be the star as well as “the Professor” be the new head of the Las Vegas Crime Lab. “The event is CSI the show” Fishburne responded. “Everyone brings their unique talents to the show, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
  • Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) will be the new supervisor aided by Nick (George Eads), as “the Professor” becomes a CSI newbie. “[Willows and Stokes] are the natural people to lead the team” said Mendelsohn.

    Shankar said that the addition of Fishburne’s “Professor” during CSI‘s ninth season has make the show fresh.

    “It takes a special personality to be willing to start new — to a place where you’re not in charge of everything — and start over” she continued. “And the character will feel very at home in the bowels at the coroner’s office, a little more comfortable than he feels in the halls of the CSI office.”

    As for Petersen, he’ll be making recurring guest spots as Grissom in future episodes, and will also stay on as executive producer of the show. Season nine of CSI will start airing on October 9 at 9pm on CBS.

  • Garrett Godwin is an entertainment journalist, who writes for NewsBlaze about television and people in the entertainment industry, from his home state of Michigan. Contact Garrett by writing to NewsBlaze.