November 18, 2011 1:39pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'CSI': Elisabeth Shue Joins as Series Regular
Elisabeth Shue is joining CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as a series regular.
The Academy Award nominee for Leaving Las Vegas will replace the departing Marg Helgenberger and first appear on the procedural on Feb. 15 as the newest CSI, fresh off an anger management course, amid rumors that D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) fired her when she worked for him in Seattle.
The casting comes months after CSI: Crime Scene Investigation executive producer Carol Mendelsohn told critics at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that original cast member Helgenberger would follow in Laurence Fishburne's footsteps and depart the series after more than 250 episodes.
“While it’s difficult to say goodbye to a beloved character like Catherine Willows, it’s exciting to start a journey with a new CSI, especially when that character is played by Elisabeth Shue,” Mendelsohn said. “The new CSI also struggles with ‘brutal honesty issues’ and suffers no fools.”
Danson boarded the veteran crime procedural, from Jerry Bruckheimer Television, in July as a replacement for Fishburne, whose abrupt departure came as a surprise to viewers and industry folks alike in June. Fishburne had spent two and a half seasons on the series.
The once top-rated CSI has seen its ratings drop since original star William Petersen departed the show in December 2008. The series posted its lowest-rated finale ever in May, drawing 11.4 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. Still, CSI stands as the most-watched series in the world, spawning two spinoffs which are licensed in more than 200 markets globally.
Shue's credits include features Leaving Las Vegas and The Karate Kid; her series TV work includes Call to Glory and guest spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Dream On.