Laurence Fishburne’s debut as Raymond Langston on CBS’ top-rated drama “CSI” boosted the show to its best numbers since its premiere this season, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The drama was seen by 20.6 million viewers and earned a 5.7 preliminary rating among adults 18-49, according to Neilsen Media Research. Lead-in “Survivor” (13.2 million, 4.1) was up slightly from last week.
“CSI” even helped 10 p.m.’s “Eleventh Hour” (13.4 million, 3.8) draw its best performance ever — and marked the first time the freshman series has won its hour.
James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter’s “The Live Feed” column wrote of “CSI”: “The crime procedural is conceived as an ensemble drama, with a format bigger than any one character. But if there is a heart of the show, it’s William Petersen. The industry considers his departure and replacement by an African American actor to be a dice roll. [Thursday’s episode] was part one of a two-part episode, with Petersen exiting Jan. 15. Though last night’s ratings are certainly encouraging, the big test will be in the weeks following Petersen’s departure.”