It doesn’t require a Crime Scene Investigation unit yet, but CSI is getting ready to take a serious beating in the upcoming 2011-2012 season, according to the latest from Deadline.

Laurence Fishburne has decided not to renew his contract so Dr. Raymond Langston will not be showing up in Season 12. The big-screen star came into the series towards the end of 2008 to help fill the void that was created when Gil Grissom (William Peterson) left the show. No disrespect intended, but Langston didn’t do a very good job of filling that gap, but that could just be the opinion of someone who really enjoyed the slightly odd Grissom.

While Fishburne’s departure might not be lethal to the show, the timing couldn’t be worse. Marg Helgenberger will have reduced screen time in the future, and the crime drama is being moved from its comfortable Thursday time slot to Wednesday nights, and there’s always a chance fans won’t make the switch when a show gets moved around. On the bright side of things, there is a new character being added to the team.

It’s definitely not a good time for crime dramas because CSI isn’t the only show going through some changes. Law & Order: SVU is experiencing similar growing pains with the departure of Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay opting for reduced hours on the show.

What do you think will happen to CSI? Will they focus more on the familiar characters or is some new blood needed to guarantee a Season 13?