Laurence Fishburne talks 'CSI'

CSI‘s newest recruit, Laurence Fishburne, told reporters on a teleconference call today that he looks forward to collaborating with producers on his new character — even though he’s never actually watched the CBS drama. "To be perfectly frank, I felt a little stupid and embarrassed that I hadn’t watched the show," said Fishburne, who hasn’t done series television since appearing as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-wee’s Playhouse back in the mid-’80s. "But I’m happy to say the episodes they sent to me were really engaging, really wonderful, and kind of dark and moody… like a lot of the work I’ve been involved in. I thought, wow, this will work!"

Fishburne will start shooting in September and will likely appear in his first episode tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11. He and executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar are still fleshing out his character, who doesn’t even have a name. For now, they can only say he’s a college professor with a background as a research pathologist who joins the unit as an entry-level CSI. Though CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler seemed to indicate to reporters in July that the new character will have Dexter-like qualities, Shankar said it’s "nothing as simple as having the genes of a serial killer."  "The character has been able to examine his own genetic profile, and he discovers he has certain clusters of biological facts in common with criminals," Shankar explained on the teleconference call. "It’s just one of the things that interested in him in the world of violent criminals."

Shankar promises that Billy Peterson’s Gil Grissom "will definitely have an opinion on who this new guy is" before he departs the unit by episode 10. "You’ll see a lot of Billy and Laurence together," she said.


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Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • Mary

    I love William Peterson’s charater and will not watch csi after he leaves.

  • miranda

    I am very sad to see Grissom leave the show but I am interested to see what Fishburne brings to the show.

  • Charles

    Grissom has always been my favorite. Those shoes will be hard to fill but if he brings the intensity and forcefullness he had in MI-3, he will be liked for sure.

  • Double L

    I love William Peterson’s charater as well but understand that in order to keep growing one most keep moving. I was thrilled to learn that CBS would replace him with Mr. Lawrence Fishbune. Great choice CBS…I will certainly continue to watch.

  • Brian

    This day was coming that William Peterson was going to leave, we as CSI fans have known this fact for a long time. We have heard that Peterson has been having health issues for years and that is why he is leaving. He has stayed on for a few more years when he thought of leaving before, the fact the Grissom character is so good is because of Peterson.
    Saying this to bring in his replacement as Lawerance Fishbourne, a highly respected actor, as a new character for the show to replace Grisson was a good choice and shows just how important they see the character look at the list of actors they were pursuing other that Fishbourne. Peterson was not forced from the show in fact he is staying on as a producer after he leaves.
    Let’s see how this is going. Fishbourne has always been fantastic from all his films. I want to see how he will be influancing CSI.

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  • Dee

    I will be sad to see Grissom go but they all work as a team. Was sorry to see Sara and Warrick go also. Each character adds to the show – I especially like Nick and Brass. I saw a picture of Fishburne with a black leather jacket and a beard and thought he could fill Gil’s role easily with that persona. But if Fishburne has the characteristics of Dexter I will definately STOP watching! He needs to be a likable character NOT a wacko!

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