''CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'' has solved the mystery of who will replace departing CBS series star William Petersen: It's Laurence Fishburne.
Fishburne, an Emmy and Tony winner, will be introduced in the ninth episode of the upcoming 10th season, the network said today. He'll play a forensics scientist with a secret.
''I am elated and delighted to be joining the cast of 'CSI,''' Fishburne said in a statement, adding that he looked forward to a ''wonderful collaboration'' with those involved in the series.
Fishburne plays a college lecturer and former pathologist who is focused on why people commit acts of violence.
The air date for Petersen's final episode has yet to be determined but will be early next year. Petersen has been with the series since it debuted in fall 2000 and will remain a ''CSI'' executive producer, the network said.
Fishburne's character has a deep connection to his work: His genetic profile has been identified in serial killers, CBS programming chief Nina Tassler said before Fishburne's casting was announced but as rumors swirled.
''This gentleman knows this about himself and is ... in this journey to discover who his true character will ultimately become,'' Tassler said last month -- but he's keeping the crucial information to himself.
The character meets members of the ''CSI'' team during a murder investigation and ends up joining them.
Fishburne, 47, received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in 1993's ''What's Love Got to Do With It'' and a Tony in 1992 for ''Two Trains Running.'' He was a Tony nominee this year for the one-man show, ''Thurgood,'' about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
His film credits include the ''Matrix'' sci-fi films, in which he played Morpheus; ''Apocalypse Now''; ''The Color Purple''; ''Mystic River''; ''21''; ''Akeelah and the Bee''; and ''Biker Boyz.'' He also is a writer and director.