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CSI Files

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Petersen To Leave After Season Five?

By Caillan
April 19, 2003 - 5:18 AM

Gil Grissom's days at the Las Vegas crime lab could be numbered.

The CSI's real-life alter ego, William Petersen, reportedly "strongly hinted" to Bill Zwecker at the Chicago Sun-Times that he would consider packing away his fingerprint duster for good when his five-year commitment to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation expires.

"I think a couple more [seasons] will do it," Petersen told the reporter. "This season we're dealing with his hearing loss. Maybe next we'll have him lose his sight. Then he'll fall apart altogether," the actor added, "only half-kidding", according to Zwecker.

Petersen, who also serves as a co-executive producer on CSI, reportedly has a five-year contract, which would carry through to the end of the show's fifth season in May, 2005. Earlier this season the actor's salary increased from $100,000 to between $225,000 and $250,000 an episode, according to TV Guide.

But after his initial deal is up, Petersen reportedly told the Chicago Sun-Times he would like to branch out into other areas, including "the chance to get back and do plays in Chicago".

William Petersen was pivotal in getting CSI off the ground prior to the show's premiere in the fall of 2000. The stage and film actor had spent years trying to find a television series that grabbed him, until Anthony Zuiker, who had no previous television experience, pitched him the CSI concept. Petersen took the idea to CBS head Les Moonves, and with uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer on board, the rest is television history.

Please note that this is not an official announcement from Petersen that he will be leaving CSI at the end of the fifth season. There has also been no confirmation from CBS, Alliance Atlantis or Bruckheimer Films.

The original article, which also contains comments from Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows), can be found here at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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