Monday, August 18, 2008

It's official: Laurence Fishburne joins 'CSI,' gets frog DNA

CBS just made it official that Laurence Fishburne will be playing the new "CSI" lead, replacing William Petersen (though they'll overlap in a couple of episodes). They're doing a conference call with Morpheus later today, which will go into tomorrow's column.

UPDATE: Column's posted now over at NJ.com, with quotes from Fishburne and the producers.

After the jump, the relevant parts of the press release.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 — Oscar nominee and Emmy and Tony Award winner Laurence Fishburne ("What's Love Got To Do With It," "The Matrix," "Miss Evers' Boys") will join the cast of the CBS Paramount Network Television and Jerry Bruckheimer Television series, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, on the CBS Television Network. His character will debut in this season's ninth episode.

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.

"CBS asked us, 'Who's at the top of your dream list?' say 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."

"I am elated and delighted to be joining the cast of CSI," says Fishburne. "I look forward to a wonderful collaboration with the creative and talented team of such a successful and distinguished show," he added.

10 comments:

Kevin said...

I'm not swallowing the blue pill here. Consider the shark jumped.

Anonymous said...

frog DNA??

Alan Sepinwall said...

frog DNA??

Running gag. They keep saying his character will have the same DNA profile as many known serial killers, and it sounds so silly that I took to saying he'd be playing a guy with frog DNA.

Rich C said...

See, now THAT would be interesting!

Zac said...

So does this mean that Horatio is The One? :)

Alap said...

am i lame for thinking the serial killer dna thing as they originally planned it sounded pretty cool? not "cool" in a plausible way, but in a "yeah, i know csi's all about the GRITTY REALISM and SCIENTIFIC FACT, with no real, season-long plot or character arcs, but this whole 'fated to be a killer but fights against them anyway' thing, no matter how much it could never ever happen in real life, introduces some interesting existential-ish avenues that i haven't really seen explored on tv since something like angel" way.

personally, the more realistic route, where he only finds "associations" in himself with serial killers and the show only goes into the nitty gritty of how "certain tendencies...turn into violence," sounds a whole lot less interesting. i'd rather watch a show about a likeable character who was going to become a serial killer no matter what, and follow his struggle with issues of fate and destiny, than just another show about what separates a cop from a killer. but maybe that's just my inner sci-fi freak talking.

Anonymous said...

Alan, do you have any official word or, failing that, general sense of how large a role William Petersen is likely to play after his departure? When the announcement was first made, Zuiker et al said we'd definitely be seeing Grissom again, but I'm curious as to where that stands now.

Adam said...

I'm just glad someone made the Cowboy Curtis connection.

Stacie said...

Isn't the whole "struggling with serial killer tendencies while basically being one of the good guys" the plot of "Dexter"?

Capcom said...

I loved Cowboy Curtis! :o)