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Laurence Fishburne officially replaces William Petersen on CSI

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CSI: Powerhouse

It's been rumored for several weeks, but now it's official, Laurence Fishburne is joining CSI and William Petersen's exit is final. Fishburne, an Emmy winning actor, will be familiar to audiences from his roles in movies such as What's Love Got To Do With It, The Matrix, and Miss Evers' Boys.

CSI: PowerhouseGetting such a high caliber actor to step into the series was quite a coup for CSI producers.

"CBS asked us, 'Who's at the top of your dream list?' said CSI executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar.

"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. The actor disappeared and Thurgood Marshall was standing there on the stage. 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."

Fishburne will play a former pathologist who is now working as an itinerant college lecturer, teaching a course in criminalistics. His focus is on understanding criminal behavior, how and why people commit acts of violence - tendencies he disturbingly sees within himself. In the course of a murder investigation, he comes into contact with the CSI team and ultimately joins the Las Vegas Crime Lab as a Level-1 CSI.

His character will debut in this season's ninth episode.

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