Laurence Fishburne Signs on to Star in CSI
08/19/2008 AT 09:15 AM EDT
The Matrix's Laurence Fishburne will replace William Peterson, who's leaving the series after eight years behind the microscope, the Associated Press reports.
Fishburne – who earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ike Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It – said he was "elated and delighted" by the news.
The actor will reportedly portray a former pathologist turned college lecturer. He meets up with members of the CSI team during a homicide investigation – and ends up joining them.
But, of course, he has a secret: The character's genetic profile has been identified in serial killers.
"This gentleman knows this about himself and is ... in this journey to discover who his true character will ultimately become," CBS programming chief Nina Tassler told the AP.
Peterson – who plays team leader Gil Grissom – will depart the series partway through the upcoming season. But he will continue as an executive producer for the long-running series – and he has not ruled out occasional guest appearances.