EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed William Petersen, who’s ready to get busy again almost five years after leaving the CBS drama CSI after 10 seasons. He will be looking at movie, TV and stage opportunities. Petersen emerged from the Chicago theater scene to star in such films as William Friedkin’s To Live And Die In L.A. and Michael Mann’s Manhunter and is one of those highly selective actors who never wore out his welcome — which made a return seamless when he surprised everyone by signing on for CSI, on which he remains an exec producer. Petersen had been repped by WME for the past year. A founder of Chicago’s Remains Theater Ensemble, Peterson’s recent stage work includes A Dublin Carol and The Endgame at Steppenwolf Theatre and Blackbird at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He continues to be managed by Cindy Chvatal at High Horse Films and is lawyered by Cliff Gilbert-Lurie at Ziffren Brittenham.
EXCLUSIVE: Former CSI star and executive producer William Petersen has signed with WME. The move comes two weeks after Petersen departed Cinemax pilot Hurt People, which he had helped develop and sell. During Petersen’s nine-season stint on CSI, the crime drama was the most watched series on American television and ranked several times as No. 1 in the world. Petersen, who is partnered with long-time producing partner Cynthia Chvatal at their High Horse Films, started his career in theater before segueing to features and TV. Petersen was at UTA and continues to be repped by attorney Cliff Gilbert-Lurie.
EXCLUSIVE: William Petersen’s return to television is being put on hold. I’ve learned that the CSI alum is leaving the Cinemax/GK-tv drama pilot Hurt People, which he was to executive produce and star in.
Petersen has been a major driver behind the project penned by former production executive Peter Macmanus in his writing debut. Petersen and his producing partner Cynthia Chvatal responded to Macmanus’ script and teamed with Graham King’s GK-tv to develop it. With Petersen on board as star and executive producer, Hurt People, about a veteran hitman (Petersen) employed by the crime family that killed his wife, was taken out to cable networks in March, eventually landing at Cinemax in April with a pilot order.
I hear that in the past couple of months, Petersen’s and the writer-producers’ vision for where the project should go began to diverge, leading to his decision to leave the project he helped develop and sell. I hear Petersen’s departure is not official yet, so it is unclear what impact it would have on Hurt People.
EXCLUSIVE: Hurt People, GK-tv’s drama project starring and executive produced by William Petersen, has landed at Cinemax. The HBO sister network has ordered a pilot from the project, which marks Petersen’s return to television after his nine-year starring turn on CSI. Written by Peter Macmanus, Hurt People centers on Hollis Brown (Petersen), a veteran hitman employed by the crime family that killed his wife. Brown has been enlisted to hunt down his estranged daughter who is intent on destroying those responsible for her mother’s death. Petersen is executive producing the pilot with his producing partner Cynthia Chvatal, Macmanus and GK-tv’s Graham King, Tim Headington and Craig Cegielski. Macmanus’ manager Beth Stine is attached as supervising producer. After they liked the original script by former AMC production executive-turned-writer Macmanus, Petersen and Chvatal teamed with GK-tv to develop it. The project was taken out a month ago, targeting mosty cable networks because of its darker tone.
EXCLUSIVE: In his first series role since concluding his nine-year turn on CSI, William Petersen is set to star in and executive produce Hurt People, a drama series set up at Graham King and Tim Headington’s GK-tv. The project, written by Peter Macmanus, centers on Hollis Brown (Petersen), a veteran hitman employed by the crime family that killed his wife. Brown has been enlisted to hunt down his estranged daughter who is intent on destroying those responsible for her mother’s death. Brown is a stark departure from Petersen’s character on CBS’ CSI, the brooding and likable Gil Grissom. Because of Hurt People‘s dark tone, I hear the series is targeting primarily cable networks as well as emerging original programming players like Netflix. Petersen will executive produce the project, which will be taken out shortly, with his producing partner Cynthia Chvatal, Macmanus, King, Headington and GK-tv president Craig Cegielski. Macmanus’ manager Beth Stine is attached as supervising producer.
Petersen and Mcmanus, who has no previous credits and worked as a production executive at AMC before segueing to writing, are repped by UTA, which sent Macmanus’ script to Petersen and Chvatal. The two liked it and teamed with GK-tv to develop it. Petersen has been successful in spotting great new TV writing talent before. In 2000, when under a rich talent holding deal at CBS, Petersen was given dozens of pilot scripts from established writers to choose …