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Marg Helgenberger Set to Leave 'CSI' in January

August 5, 2011 (4:13 am) GMT
The original cast member of the crime drama series will quit in the 12th episode of the upcoming season, but EP Carol Mendelsohn hopes that it 'won't be the last time we see her.'

's last episode for "" has been revealed. The 52-year-old, who has portrayed Catherine Willows since the first season of the CBS long-running series, will leave the show after the 12th episode of season 12.

"Marg will be around through January, so episode 12," executive producer Carol Mendelsohn said, before adding, "People come and go and come back, so hopefully when we say goodbye, that won't be the last time we see her."

Helgenberger initially planned to make season 11 her last, but Mendelsohn asked her to stay for more episodes so that the writers could properly script her exit. "The combination of that info and me having a hard time letting go of this show and this group of people, I said, 'Yeah, I'm not done playing this character; I'm not done letting go of this group of people," Helgenberger said at the TCA on Wednesday, August 3.

The Emmy Award-winning actress went on teasing her possible return. "[The odds that this is my last season] are pretty strong," she claimed. "Yeah, I mean, there's chance [I'd come back]. They've always left the door open for me."

"CSI" will kick off its 12th season on Wednesday, September 21, at 10 P.M. is cast for the lead role of D.B. Russell after decided to quit the show last June.

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