Grissom is Leaving Las Vegas — Forever

After nine seasons of heading up the crime lab in Sin City, Gil Grissom leaves Las Vegas again — this time, for good. William Petersen, the actor who portrayed this quirky yet brilliant criminalist, is leaving CSI: Crime Scene Investigation during the show’s ninth season.

This isn’t the first of several cast changes for the hit procedural show. Jorja Fox, who portrays Sara Sidle, left in the middle of last season. Gary Dourdan, who starred as Warrick Brown, decided to leave in May, which leads up to his character killed off in last season’s finale.

Petersen left during CSI‘s seventh season for four weeks to do a play, with actor Liev Schreiber coming in as his replacement. But don’t expect Schreiber to return. His character, Keppler, was killed off at the end of his four-episode stint. So far, there is no word on Grissom’s replacement.

Though he won’t be a regular anymore, Petersen will remain on CSI on a recurring basis. He will also stay on as executive producer, a role he has maintained since the show began in 2000.

It has been confirmed that Fox will return as Grissom’s love Sara — as well as Melinda Clarke (The O.C.) to reprise her role as Lady Heather to confirm Grissom’s exit, which may probably be at the beginning of next year.