The show’s executive producers say Fishburne’s first appearance on the show will come in its ninth episode of the 2008-09 season, the series’ ninth year, the Hollywood Reporter said.
"CBS asked us, 'Who's at the top of your dream list?’” executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar told reporters. "Without hesitation, we said Laurence Fishburne. He is a powerful and intense actor, with an incredible range."
Fishburne, an Oscar nominee for "What's Love Got to Do With It" and a former stage actor whose breakout role was in 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood,” most recently co-starred in "21." The Reporter said he, John Malkovich and Kurt Russell were most frequently mentioned as possibilities to replace the departing Petersen.
"I am elated and delighted to be joining the cast of 'CSI.' I look forward to a wonderful collaboration with the creative and talented team of such a successful and distinguished show," Fishburne said in a statement.