‘CSI’: Here’s Why One Star Chose to Leave

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

If you know anything about the classic CBS show CSI, then you know that cast changes are not unusual. Why did one star choose to leave?

There usually are many reasons said or unsaid when a star packs up and hits the road. Looper will help us get down to the answers we are looking for right now.

In case you are wondering who we are talking about, then it is actor Gary Dourdan. He played Warrick Brown, a somewhat sympathetic kind of character on CSI. And he did leave over contract issues with the show producers. Yes, we will get to that matter but here’s some additional background.

‘CSI’ Actor’s Character Became Analyst For Team While Turning Life Around

Brown became an audio-video analyst for the team of investigators. He had a chance to turn his life around as he was a recovering gambling addict. On CSI, you can watch him help Gil Grissom, played by William Petersen, and others until facing false accusations of murder.

The character was acquitted but, in the Season 8 finale, Brown is shot in his car. In the Season 9 premiere, we find out that he dies in Grissom’s arms. This made a way for Dourdan to leave the show and have no chance of coming back.

CSI went through some things for Season 9. Jorja Fox, who plays Sara Sidle, left the show, too, but her character stayed alive. It let Fox make guest appearances on the OG show and pop up on the spin-off series, CSI: Vegas.

Show’s Star, Producers Reportedly Reached Mutual Agreement Over Departure

What was the reason behind the contract negotiations issues? Entertainment Weekly says this: “According to an insider, the decision was a mutual one made by the actor and CBS/Paramount, the studio that produces the procedural drama for CBS.”

Now, the show and network did try to find a replacement for Warrick Brown in the cast of show characters. Still, their desire to find someone to play Ray Santoro was feverish. Still, no character ever shows up on the CSI show at all.

What has Dourdan done since leaving the show? The actor has done movies and had a recurring role on First Wives Club. Still, those CSI fans love him for the character that he played on the CBS show for years.

Meanwhile, CSI: Vegas will be returning to the CBS primetime lineup next season. Fox is planning to return and play Sara again. But Petersen, who was part of the spin-off in Season 1, will not be returning on-screen. He does have a role off-screen in the production of the show, which makes sense as he’s been part of it since Day One.