Marg Helgenberger's days as Forensic Scientist Catherine Willows on the CBS flagship show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, have almost come to a close. Helgenberger, 52, announced that she will officially leave CSI after having limited appearances during Season 11.

The redheaded actress revealed that she had previously intended to leave at the end of Season 10, along with costar Laurence Fishburne, but "I was having a hard time letting go and that I was not yet done playing this character. That's why I decided to extend [my contract] a little bit." Helgenberger has appeared on almost every episode of the show since its inception a decade ago. Her announcement has led some to wonder if CSI will be able to withstand the double-departure of both her and Fishbourne.

CBS has a wild card, however, in the form of former Cheers and Bored to Death star Ted Danson, who is replacing Fishburne in Season 11 and will therefore be able to share some screen time with Helgenberger before she says her final goodbyes. "It's a nice fresh perspective and it kind of gets under everyone's skin a little bit, in a good way," she said about Danson's character's new "unique way of looking at a crime scene."

Danson, for one, seemed exuberant about the whole prospect. "I was thrilled, happy," he said about helming the project. "My jaw is still hanging down a little bit from the newness of all this. I love going to work. I am so happy to hang with this cast – to be able to step into the atmosphere is a joy." While you're watching Danson take over on CSI, you can expect to next see Helgenberger take on the theater. "I've been itching to get back on the stage," she said.

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