June 07, 2011 8:42pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'CSI': Laurence Fishburne Leaving Show After 2 1/2 Seasons
Laurence Fishburne is leaving CBS' procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation after two and a half seasons, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Emmy-winning actor opted not to renew his deal to continue on the series.
In one of the richer casting deals on TV, Fishburne replaced William Petersen when the latter left the show in December 2008.
But the once-top-rated show has seen its ratings drop since Petersen left, posting its lowest-rated season finale ever last month (11.4 million viewers, 2.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demo).
At its upfront presentation last month, CBS announced that it would be moving the show from its longtime Thursday 9 p.m. slot in the fall. In its place will air J.J. Abrams' new drama Person of Interest.
CSI will instead air at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.
As THR first reported, when Fishburne most recently renewed his deal to stay on the show, the contract covered only the 2010-11 season.