Goodbye Gil Grissom – the Oscar-nominated actor will replace William Petersen

By Caris Davis
August 19, 2008 09:15 AM
A. M. Parks/iPhoto; Russ Elliot/AdMedia

No need for fingerprints. A very familiar face has signed on to star in the hit CSI: Crime Scene Investigation this season.

The Matrix‘s Laurence Fishburne will replace William Peterson, who’s leaving the series after eight years behind the microscope, the Associated Press reports.

Fishburne – who earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It – said he was “elated and delighted” by the news.

The actor will reportedly portray a former pathologist turned college lecturer. He meets up with members of the CSI team during a homicide investigation – and ends up joining them.

But, of course, he has a secret: The character’s genetic profile has been identified in serial killers.

“This gentleman knows this about himself and is … in this journey to discover who his true character will ultimately become,” CBS programming chief Nina Tassler told the AP.

Peterson – who plays team leader Gil Grissom – will depart the series partway through the upcoming season. But he will continue as an executive producer for the long-running series – and he has not ruled out occasional guest appearances.