Aug. 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM ET
It’s official: Marg Helgenberger is really leaving “CSI” after season 12.
At Wednesday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, the actress confirmed that this will be her last year on CBS’ crime drama as supervisor Catherine Willows.
“I was planning on leaving after last season,” Helgenberger said. She explained that after a discussion with executive producer Carol Mendelsohn about how it’s more exciting for the show and viewers for her to wrap up her story this season, she reconsidered. “The combination of that info and me having a hard time letting go of this show and this group of people, I said yeah, maybe I still need more of this part of the process. I’m not done yet playing this character, I’m not done yet letting go. That’s why I decided to extend it a little bit.”
The “CSI” panel hinted that her departure may have something to do with the fallout resulting from the events of the season 11 finale, during which Laurence Fishburne’s character, supervisor Ray Langston, was investigated in a murder case. (It was announced earlier that Fishburne did not renew his contract for another season.)
“The departure (of Fishburne) has had a long reach and there is fallout that we will deal with in the premiere and in the following episode,” said Mendelsohn. “And it has shaken things up at ‘CSI’ and moved things around. It’s moved Marg around a little.”
“Am I pissed off that I’ve been demoted? Yeah, there’s a little bit of resentment there,” said Helgenberger.
As reported earlier, Ted Danson is joining the show as the new night-shift supervisor.
“CSI” returns Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.
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Want more news about the fall’s TV shows? Follow @Anna_TODAY as she reports from the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Los Angeles.