First Look: William Petersen Returns to CSI... But There's a Catch

Is CSI‘s Gil Grissom dusting off his forensics tools and getting back into the Vegas crime-fighting game? William Petersen returned to the set of the long-running CBS crime drama this week for a very special reason, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

CSI reached yet another landmark in its 11-year run on Tuesday, this time ringing in their 250th episode. Of course, Petersen was on hand for the cake and confetti, enjoying the festivities as both a longtime castmember and an executive producer on the series. Series stars Marg Helgenberger and Laurence Fishburne were also in the mood for a little cake-cutting fun.

Take a peek at the first look photos below:


Petersen, who exited CSI as a regular in 2008, returned for a brief “surprise” cameo last month.

CSI‘s 250th episode airs Thursday, May 12 on CBS.

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45 Comments
  1. nic says:

    someone looks a bit – um – ‘refreshed’?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t even recognize him!

  3. Tyler Volz says:

    He looks 10 years younger somwehow.

  4. Michael says:

    He looks really good. I think it is stupid that they would do a headline like this though. Seriously I do not care but it is dumb.

    • AZDave says:

      the headline got you to click on the link, and by doing so, the site created revenue. It’s a free website, they make money per click, and creative headlines are a good way of getting you to click, it got me to click as well.

  5. Toronto says:

    Shaving off the beard is the key to staying youthful, it seems.

  6. Graciela says:

    Oh Billy, I miss you much in CSI, but I’glad you do not forget your friends and colleagues.

  7. Katy says:

    He looks so good! Almost didn’t recognize him without the beard.

  8. Regina says:

    You must give me the name of whoever airbrushes these photos. Three people over 50 and not a line or wrinkle to be seen (astonishingly, that’s not the case on the show!)

    I appreciate the pictures but these are real people. And I actually find them more attractive in their natural state.

    • Robin says:

      Actually, Laurence Fishburne doesn’t turn 50 until July. So he’s the “baby” of this illustrious group!

  9. Chris says:

    Wow, his hair is so white now!!!

  10. Steph says:

    Wow, I didn’t even recognize William! His hair is so white now, but he’s looking really good, though. Miss seeing him on the show! That’s great of him to go and do that. :)

  11. hillary says:

    Where were George Eads and Jorja Fox? They’ve been with the show since season 1.

  12. pj says:

    I didn’t even recognise him!

  13. Cas says:

    That’s not…wait, is that really Grissom!?!? It doesn’t even look like him…like…at all…

  14. Csifan4 says:

    It’s so great to see them all together. Wish Grissom would come back but the show is still great. 250 episodes and still going strong. Amazing. Congrats CSI.

  15. Maddie says:

    Missed Jorja Fox and George Eads. But Petersen looks great! I wish he would come back permanently.

  16. seafairy71 says:

    Still as sexy as ever x

  17. becca says:

    Wow, 250 episodes and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Congrats to CSI! Love the show, but I wish Petersen would come back.

  18. Doris says:

    As a big fan of both CSI and the Food Network, I find the cake extremely disappointing. I have seen so many marvelous cakes, not just on Ace of Cakes (granted, that’s in Baltimore), but on the Food Network Challnges and also on programs like Amazing Wedding Cakes. Surely they could have done better! I hope it tasted better than it looked!

  19. Lu says:

    I love William Petersen! He should definitely come back :) But yeah, where’s the rest of the cast? I’m sure there are pictures.

  20. jay says:

    This sucks! I read this article, actually believing he might be coming back to the show. I’ve only seen 2 episodes since he left, because the chemistry is all off, now. I like Fishburne as an actor, but I hate his character on the show. Peterson needs to return, to save this slowly sinking ship.

    • Linda Lane says:

      CSI is hardly a “sinkng ship” It came in at #5 in the ratings on the “The List” episode. 13,289 million fans tuned in. Only “American Idol” and “NCIS” beat it out. The stories are as riveting as ever, and we’ve got big screen star Laurence Fishburne as the lead, and he’s doing a hellva job. How he’s bonded with the entire team is amazing. He’s a spectatcular actor and is doing a stellar job as Dr. Raymond Langston, the best character ever on the show. Thank’s to the writers for choosing him and thank you Mr. Fishburne for accepting~

  21. jan says:

    It would have been nice to see the WHOLE cast, CBS. It’s great to see WP, but how about the ones still on the show?

  22. Tony says:

    My thoughts exactly. Is this a case of Petersen “not forgetting his colleagues,” or a case of him showing up and automatically overshadowing the proceedings, taking attention away from those who deserve it (i.e., those who HAVEN’T jumped ship).

    • Francis says:

      He is an executive producer of the show and I assume he was there just like other producers would, including the other cast members.

  23. Tony says:

    The headline IS misleading, though. If it had said, “Billy Petersen shows up at party on CSI set” or something to that effect, I’d be fine with it. But this blatantly misleads readers into believing that he’s returning to the show in some capacity. Bad form, I say.

  24. William says:

    A little bit too much misleading headings lately. Don’t cheat your fans Michael! This is a great site. No need for this
    Billy still is an executive producer for the series, so i think he is a regular visitor on set. No news, but nice to see them together. Both Marg and him seem to have had a “refreshment”. She also looks better then ever in the last episodes of the series. Good for them!!
    Anyway after a weak period, CSI Vegas seems to be finding her feet again. Love it!!

  25. Linda Johnson says:

    OMG Billy Petersen looks about 80 years old, the white straight hair, He’s sure gone to seed. LF however look’s stunning and so fresh. I’m glad he’s on CSI now, good choice. Marg is 52, and looks hot!

  26. Graciela says:

    Billy Petersen looks hot and not eighty years of age commented disparagingly. Fishburne looking …. nothing nothing nothing nothing.

  27. Evelyn says:

    Ray Langston, always the best CSI character? JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJA. The most boring character always. When he says his line fall asleep.

    • Linda Lane says:

      He’s electryfing, and the most exciting character ever on CSI. He’s brought “class, stle and elegance ” to the show. Not to mention the whole team adores him. Every scene he’s in is better because of his enticing presence. he’s so YUMMY and such a powerful actor..Thank’s to Carol Mendelsohn and staff for selecting him, and thank’s to you Mr. Fishburne for accepting!! Your the best~~~~

  28. Evelyn says:

    JA JA JA JA JA JA JA JA I’m laughing Linda Lane, Linda Johnson, alias Desertwind. Fishburne-Langston, boring boring boring boring boring. In this forum I answer no more.

  29. Ilovecsi says:

    Aww ido love Billy ! <3 he looks really different ! he has put on a bit of wieght and his hair ! ;) also he looks very differnt without his beard but still looks great :) Larry is starting to look a bit old now but i still love him but i must say what is he wearing!? and last but not least Marg is looking stunnig as always and some how looks even better squashed between to beefy men ;) i love her fringe espec. in the 2nd pic i might go and get mine like that <3 Marg is soo pretty even at 52 .. she is my idol <3 And i want that cake! :D <3 oh and ps happy Birthday for today to catherine willows still going strong at 48!

  30. leigh says:

    Love Billy Petesen as Gil Grissom and I miss him tremendously. Wish Billy would return full time because I really don’t enjoy LF, his character is just too over the top. I still watch CSI but the joy is just not there.

  31. kay says:

    I had a hard time seeing WP as he is right now, Don’t get me wrong, He still has that sex appeal, But that White Hair and the weight gain. come on guy if you do a movie version of CSI you will have to change. Where was Jorja, Eric and the reat? I was excited to hear he was coming back only to be let down, If (and when) he returns just say so, don’t lead us fans around by the heartstrings, thought I was going to say something else. Fishburne is trying, in MHO it just ain’t happening. Billy please come back!!!!!!!

  32. Fran Stelzriede says:

    I discovered CSI in reruns a month ago, and I am hooked. When it debuted, I dismissed it as another stupid network show, and moved on. I love the Gil Grissom character and have ordered several seasons on DVD to catch up. The one network show I do watch now is CSI!

  33. Roger says:

    The show has not been the same without William Peterson in it and I hope he returns to his roots with the show. Ted might be alright but William stole the show. William did for this show what David Caruso has done or is doing to the other crime scene investigation Miami show please reconsider coming back at a later time William. You are the show!