How Will Laurence Fishburne Leaving ‘CSI’ Change The Ratings? (Poll)

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With the news that Laurence Fishburne will be leaving CBS’s CSI after two and a half seasons, what will happen to the show’s ratings?

Some things to consider:

  • Conventional wisdom is that significant cast changes are ratings negative, although I don’t have definitive numbers to back that up, CSI took a ratings hit when William Petersen departed.
  • The show reportedly starts filming for next season in mid-July. The timing suggests that this wasn’t entirely a planned move (or at least not well planned), so it will be interesting to see how it gets handled in the story.
  • After many years at 9pm Thursday, the show moves to 10pm Wednesday next season. That alone is likely a substantially ratings negative move, and it will be impossible to separate the multiple effects.

My potentially error prone average for the show’s Live+Same Day ratings for new episodes in the 2010-11 season was  2.96 for adults 18-49.

What’s your guess for next season?

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