CSI cast many familiar faces across its 16 seasons. Two of these stars went on to star side by side on another hit television series.
As most audiences will remember, Laurence Fishburne starred on the procedural for three seasons. He portrayed Dr. Ray Livingston. Though he was on the show from season nine to season 11, Livingston’s most memorable storyline was his last. In his final episodes of CSI, Livingston faced off against a serial killer in order to save his ex-wife, Gloria Parkes. Who played Parkes? None other than Tracee Ellis Ross.
After CSI, the two starred together on Black-ish for eight seasons. Ross plays Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, a medical doctor and wife of protagonist Andre Johnson, played by Anthony Anderson. Fishburne, however, portrays Earl “Pops” Johnson, Andre’s father. While it may seem like a leap to go from playing a divorced couple to in-laws, it’s not as big a leap as it may seem. Fishburne is 60, and Anderson is 51, so their age gap is much smaller than that of their characters.
In addition to starring on the show, both Anderson and Fishburne executive-produced the series along with creator Kenya Barris. Despite being a critical and ratings hit, the series has yet to win a single Emmy. Still, 11 nominations is an accomplishment.
“Yeah, we are 0 for 11,” Anderson said in a recent interview. “And if it doesn’t happen, then you’re gonna see me visibly upset on camera. We’re gonna move some furniture around, that’s what we’re gonna do!”
CSI Stars Share the Screen With Law & Order Star on Black-ish
While Fishburne and Ross both starred on CSI, Anderson joined the cast of another procedural: Law & Order. As Detective Kevin Bernard, Anderson stepped into the vacancy left behind by Jesse L. Martin’s Ed Green. With the finale of Black-ish airing in the coming months, Anderson is returning to Law & Order for its revival.
“It means a great deal,” said Anderson. “They’re bringing the show back and billing it as their 21st year… full circle is what it is, and it’s a good thing.” Additionally, the actor explained that he appreciated the change of pace. Starring on a sitcom for many years makes returning to the world of procedurals exciting.
“You know, a lot of people ask why, and I say why not?” added Anderson. “It’s the opportunity to go back and reprise [my] character, and have a little fun in the dramatic space for a little while.”
Who knows? With Black-ish wrapping up, maybe a CSI revival with Fishburne is on the horizon. Until then, Black-ish airs new episodes on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. at on ABC. Law & Order returns to NBC in February.