Laurence Fishburne Adds Production Deal at CBS

Laurence Fishburne will be doing more than just solving crimes at CBS.

The newly introduced star of "CSI" -- the network's top show -- has also signed a first-look deal with the show's producer CBS Paramount Network TV. His company, Cinema Gypsy, will develop projects for the studio under the direction of former Paramount and TV One executive Rose Catherine Pinkney.

"I have always wanted to continue to expand our production efforts at Cinema Gypsy into television, and Rose Catherine's extensive background and experience in TV is a natural fit with those plans," Fishburne tells Variety.

Fishburne made his first appearance on "CSI" last week, playing a criminology professor whose study of a serial killer intersects with a case of Grissom's (William Petersen). The episode drew the show's biggest audience (20.9 million people) since its season premiere, which bodes well for when Fishburne takes over full-time for the departing Petersen in January.

Fishburne's credits as a producer include a pair of HBO films, "Always Outnumbered" and "Miss Evers' Boys," and the feature film "Akeelah and the Bee."