‘CSI: Vegas’: William Peterson Thought It Was ‘Completely Weird’ Reuniting With Jorja Fox

CSI: Vegas will feature the return of William Peterson and Jorja Fox as forensic investigators Grissom and Sara. The characters first appeared in the mothership CSI series that ran for 15 seasons between 2000 and 2015 — CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

The sequel will open a new chapter in Sin City and introduce new faces. But as the crime lab faces an existential threat that could bring it down, some old friends are coming back. According to Peterson, it was “completely weird” reuniting with his long-time co-star for the new series.

William Petersen as Gil Grissom and Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle in a shot from ‘CSI: Vegas’
William Petersen and Jorja Fox | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

CBS drops the first-look teasers for ‘CSI: Vegas’

Ahead of the series premiere of CSI: Vegas, CBS has dropped a few teasers to give fans their first look at what they can expect. The clips revealed that Peterson and Fox would be back, along with Wallace Langham (David Hodges) and Paul Guilfoyle (Jim Brass). The new series regulars are Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mel Rodriguez, and Mandeep Dhillon.

One of the teasers features series protagonist Maxine Roby (Newsome), the current head of the Vegas Crime Lab. It opens with her saying there is “an assault on the truth.” Which is later revealed to be accusations of fraudulent misconduct within their very own lab.

The cases from the original series are being called into question

Sara tells Gibbs that every case and every defendant that was put away with evidence from their lab “has been called into question.”

“Our life’s work is on the line,” Sara says.

Another teaser shows Gibbs waking up to a news report that details the accusations. The reporter says, “Good morning Las Vegas. Yesterday, CSIs uncovered evidence of fraudulent misconduct within their own department, dating back 20 years. A suspect has not been identified in a conspiracy that could affect the entire Nevada justice system. Internal affairs is investigating the case. Justice is coming, it will be swift.”

William Petersen thought it was ‘completely weird’ to reunite with Jorja Fox on ‘CSI: Vegas’

In a new interview with TV Guide Magazine, Petersen and Fox admit their characters are “the dinosaurs” of the CSI universe. But according to executive producer Jason Tracey, they are exactly what the sequel needs.

“[Sara and Grissom] were my favorite parts of the original and the perfect entrée into the story we’re telling here,” Tracey said. “Someone’s targeting the lab. A conspiracy calls into question the integrity of the work we always saw get done. Thousands of prior convictions hang in the balance.”

But according to Petersen, he never expected to revisit these characters again. He explained that it was “completely weird because we thought we’d put this to bed a long time ago. It’s a whole new thing and yet still the bones of the old thing.”

William Petersen and Jorja Fox were ‘hesitant’ to reprise their roles

When they first got the call about the sequel, both Petersen and Fox admitted they were “hesitant.”  They had left their characters sailing off to paradise together. But the idea of coming back and working with Fox on CSI: Vegas was intriguing for Petersen. And for Fox, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with Petersen again.

“First of all, I love Sara and Grissom. I always will,” Fox said. “Not to talk about the olden days too much, but even though we were together, we weren’t together. We were [secretly] married, we were divorced. Embarking on this phase, we’re going to meet them not only as a couple that’s together, but a couple that’s been living on and off a boat together for several years.”

The stakes are high on ‘CSI: Vegas’

When the sequel begins, the couple is “down in South America somewhere,” working on saving and studying fish and protecting sharks. They describe it as pulling a Jimmy Buffett, and they are in Margaritaville. But Grissom and Sara ditch that life when someone accuses the Crime Lab of falsifying evidence.


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“All of the characters are tapped into [this case] for the duration of the season, and the stakes are really high,” Fox explained. “There’s loved ones involved and the safety of loved ones. And through that, we meet the new CSIs and forge those relationships.”

CSI: Vegas premieres Wednesday, Oct. 6 on CBS.