After playing Gil Grissom for nine seasons on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” William Petersen felt it was time to go (per Entertainment Weekly). “You do anything for nine years, it becomes somewhat rote,” Petersen said. “The reason I’m leaving is because I’m afraid I’m becoming too comfortable,” he stated. The “CSI” star admitted he earned a significant paycheck by playing Grissom, but he realized, “I don’t have to work very hard anymore. I’ve got it all figured out.” He felt, as an artist, he was “going to atrophy” if he didn’t spread his wings and push to do other types of roles.
Once Petersen departed “CSI” as Grissom, he moved to Chicago to focus on theater roles. He confidently noted he wouldn’t miss his character after playing him for nine seasons. “It was a complete life for me that’s reached its end, and it’s reached it in the right way, I think,” he said. While Petersen was ready to let go of Grissom, he remained connected to “CSI.” He stayed on as a producer, and he always planned to pop up for appearances now and then.