Laurence Fishburne Is Leaving CSI

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... Laurence Fishburne is saying goodbye to CSI after two-and-a-half seasons. Fishy joined the series after the departure of William Petersen in 2008, playing the then-new lead role of Dr. Raymond Langston. Early reviews of Fishburne's transition were mixed, but apparently things settled down enough for the actor to renew his contract going into last season. His departure leaves a gigantic hole that needs to be filled ASAP. Who would you like to see replace Fishburne as the lead on CSI? [Deadline Hollywood]

... Fox has tweaked its summer schedule a bit, which would mean something to me if there were anything on Fox this summer worth watching. Anything. Cooking show Masterchef will move back an hour starting immediately, to 9pm on Mondays, but the show's Tuesday airings will stay at 8pm for the time being. Hell's Kitchen will premiere on Monday, July 18 at 8pm, where it will serve as lead-in to Masterchef. Beginning Tuesday, July 19, Hell's Kitchen will air at 8pm and Masterchef will slide back to 9pm. God I hope that made sense to you, because it barely makes sense to me. [Deadline Hollywood]

... 16.4 million viewers sobbed uncontrollably on May 25 during the series finale of The Oprah Winfrey Show, according to numbers that are only being released now. It was the most-watched Oprah episode in 18 years. [Associated Press]

... Oprah's good buddy Michelle Obama will guest-star on... iCarly? Michelle will promote her initiative Joining Forces, which raises awareness for military families. And how come no one complains about this very blatant display of what's essentially product placement, but if Fringe shows a Sprint phone, everyone is all up in arms!?!? Double standard, people!! [Associated Press]

... ABC's charming Castle has earned a well-deserved second life in reruns: TNT has acquired the off-network rights for the series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. The first two seasons of the show will begin re-airing in 2012. Shiny! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Vanessa Marcil is leaving General Hospital on June 9. She's pretty. [EW]

... I hate to admit it, but I'm liking the new direction of TLC. After clogging its schedule with shows about little people, people with litters of children, and child beauty pageants, the network is finally finding its groove with normal weird people. TLC is ordering a new pilot, about people addicted to entering sweepstakes. It's appropriately called High Stakes Sweepers. The net will give it a one-hour special before deciding whether or not to make it a series, just like it did with new hit Extreme Couponing. [TV Guide]


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