Laurence Fishburne Leaves ‘CSI’

The former 'Matrix' actor will return to features full time, potentially leaving last season's cliffhanger unanswered.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

During Laurence Fishburne's two year stint on "CSI," his character, Dr. Raymond Langston was plagued by Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin), a relentless serial killer. And in the eleventh season finale, Langston finally got his revenge and killed Haskell.

However, the episode ended during an internal affairs interview before Langston answered the question of whether he killed in self defense or if he had murdered his long time adversary.

While we still don't know what Langston's response will be, one thing is clear: Fishburne is leaving the show. Deadline broke the story about Fishburne's departure, indicating that Fishburne himself decided not to renew his contract in favor of returning to feature films on a full time basis. It's currently unclear if Fishburne will return for at least a guest appearance to wrap up Langston's storyline.

Additionally, Marg Helgenberger's contract with "CSI" is also up, although she is expected to return next season in at least a few episodes.

”Most of our actors are negotiating for next season, so at the moment we don’t know [who will be back]," noted executive producer, Carol Mendelsohn. "It must be a test for the writers of 'CSI.' We always start planning for next season without knowing for sure.”

Fishburne notably replaced William Petersen on the show and the network is reportedly looking for a high profile actor to step in for Fishburne as well. In a bit of armchair casting, Entertainment Weekly suggests that the new male lead should be one of these five actors: Jimmy Smits, Chris Meloni, Michael Chiklis, Ethan Hawke and Terry O’Quinn.

Who do you think should be the next lead of "CSI"? Let us know in the comment section below!