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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Jorja Fox rejoins CSI; lack of confidence in Laurence Fishburne?

21

July

Fishburne-csi When Oscar-nominated film star Laurence Fishburne joined the cast of CSI, it seemed like a natural match. CBS was replacing departing star William Petersen with a well-known face and presence.

Best of all, the network's core hit was adding a black man as its star in the same month Barack Obama would take office as the nation's first black president.

But after an initial boost in viewership, ratings have sagged for Fishburne's version of CSI.

So it's small wonder CBS has done the next best thing to pulling Petersen back, re-signing co-star Jorja Fox, who was last seen smooching with Petersen's Gil Grissom in Costa Rica in both characters' last appearance on the show.

Jorja-fox1 Fox's Sara Sidle is due back for five episodes next season. With the TV critics' press tour due to start soon, expect more details then. You can also expect more questions, like: Does this mean Fishburne isn't working out?

Frankly, I think the show's big mistake was making Fishburne's character come in as a junior member of the CSI team, pretending he was just another member of the ensemble. The only way to make that character really interesting was to spend some time with him; instead, the show's supporting characters were used to carry more of the stories, leading to some boring stuff.

Fox may be the most unlikely, ambivalent network TV star since ER's Anthony Edwards. Will her return be enough to juice a show that seems to be slipping into old age doldrums?

Will producers juice Fishburne's role enough to make the character interesting again? Or is this all just a setup for Petersen to come back during November sweeps?

Questions worthy of a CSI episode. Here's hoping producers figure a way to answer them in a way that saves the show.

Click below to read CBS's press release.

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Jorja-fox LOS ANGELES, July 20 — SAG Award winner and fan favorite Jorja Fox will reprise her role as Sara Sidle on multiple episodes of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION this fall, airing Thursdays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

            "We're thrilled for Jorja's return to CSI," said executive producer Carol Mendelsohn.  "The viewers and longtime CSI fans will be excited to discover where life has taken Sara Sidle and what brings her back to the CSI team in Las Vegas in our premiere episode." 

            CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, which returns for its 10th season this fall, was last season’s number one drama.  Fox, who had been a series regular since the show’s first season, left during its eighth season, when her character, Sara, suffering job burnout, decided to leave the crime lab to deal with past demons.  She returned briefly during season nine and then left again to do research in Costa Rica, where her former boss and romantic partner, Gil Grissom, later joined her.  

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:00pm]

    

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