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CSI Vegas season 2: Why is William Peterson leaving as Gil Grissom?

Dec 16, 2021

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CSI Vegas is the latest spin-off of the CSI universe, proving to be a popular addition to the franchise. As such, it was no surprise to fans that a second season was confirmed by CBS. However, it comes with some changes, most noticeably the fact William Peterson will not be reprising his role as Gil Grissom.

Why is William Peterson leaving CSI Vegas?

CSI Vegas fans were overjoyed by the news that the show would be receiving a sequel season on CBS.

While it currently lacks a confirmed release date, it is aiming to hit a late-2022, early-2023 release window.

The show itself is a sequel to the original CSI that first premiered in 2000, updating the show for modern audiences 20 years later.

The first season of CSI Vegas was co-led by William Peterson and Jorja Fox as Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle, respectively.

However, the news of season two was also coupled with the confirmation that Peterson would be stepping away from the character.

The star only signed up to appear in 10 episodes of the show, and while he could renegotiate his contract, Peterson has decided not to do so.

Grissom’s absence will have to be explained in-universe during season two, but it will leave the door open for him to return one day.

This is also helped by the fact that Peterson is not leaving the show entirely but is instead moving to a role behind the camera.

During the first season, Peterson also served as an executive producer and he will be doing the same in the second season.

It seems the star wants to stay close to the project, concentrating on the essential behind-the-scenes work.  

This might come as a surprise to some fans, considering Peterson’s long-running tenure in the role of Grissom.

Peterson has been in the role since the pilot episode of CSI way back in 2000, starring in over 300 episodes of the original series.

When he left the main series in 2013, he wrapped up his run in the CSI movie, titled CSI: Immortality. 

Peterson appeared as Grissom in nearly every CSI instalment there is across film, TV, and even video games.

Regarding season two of CSI Vegas, Amy Reisenbach, the EVP Current Programs at CBS released a statement thanking the fans for their support.

Reisenbach said: “The incredibly talented CSI: Vegas creative team and cast did a superb job this first season, brilliantly updating and portraying the CSI universe with fresh stories and a new crime lab…

“Proving that after 20 years, the CSI fan base is still hungry for more and ready to embrace a new chapter in this illustrious franchise.”

Peterson has not released a statement regarding his involvement in the second season.

The rest of the cast has not been confirmed, including Jorja Fox, though according to sources her contract allows her to continue into season two.

CSI Vegas season two will premiere in late 2022 or early 2023 on CBS in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.

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