CSI's William Petersen Is Finally Coming Back To TV

For nine seasons, William Petersen played Gil Grissom on CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a show that then was one of the biggest, flashiest productions on television. Since he left the popular drama, the actor and producer has mostly stayed out of acting, but today news has broken stating that Petersen will be taking his first big TV role since leaving CSI back in 2009. He’ll be joining the cast of Manhattan over at WGN America. He’ll even be a season regular during Season 2.

The network announced the news on Thursday, revealing some of the details about William Petersen’s casting. In the new episodes the former Gil Grissom will play Colonel Emmett Darrow (the name’s less catchy, but we’ll take it). Darrow is a ranking military officer at Los Alamos, and he has a fervent belief in both God and America, wanting to spread American values around the world. ‘Murica!

If you haven’t been watching Manhattan, the period drama is set in 1943 in the small town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, a place where scientists are secretly at work on the atomic bomb. The show was renewed ahead of the Season 1 finale last year, and while it hasn’t made a huge mark in the ratings, it, like many other great period dramas on TV right now (here’s looking at you, Turn and The Americans), has done very well with the critical crowd. Perhaps adding a name like William Petersen to the lineup will also help the show to gain a little more notice. It'll certainly be nice to see the actor back on TV, once more.

It’s not like Petersen has been wholly out of the onscreen acting game since he left CSI. He popped up in the Julia Style-led webseries Blue. He also has a small part in the movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, playing a motorist who has hired an assassin during the last days before the world ends. But it’ll be good to see him in a regular role on TV each week, and while Emmett Darrow might not end up being one of the most memorable TV characters in recent memory, at least the role seems as if it has some meat on its bones.

WGN America’s Manhattan has been renewed for a 10-episode second season. The new episodes are slated to hit the schedule in the fall of 2015, although production on Manhattan will begin next month. That’s a little late, considering Manhattan hit the schedule during the summer last year, but on the bright side, at least we are getting new episodes. While we wait, let’s remember Grissom’s last walk down memory lane through Grissom’s lab.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.