Gary Susman
March 18, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

After weeks of courting, Gary Sinise has officially said yes to the starring role in ”CSI: New York,” Variety reports. His character, Rick Calucci, will be a widower whose sleuthing is motivated in part by the loss of his wife during the 9/11 attacks. ”He has a soulfulness about him and really represents the pulse of New York,” series co-creator Anthony Zuiker said of the Chicago-bred actor. For his first regular TV gig, the ”Forrest Gump” star will earn an estimated $120,000 to $150,000 per episode, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Emmy-winning Sinise (who won the TV honor for his starring role in ”George Wallace”) will be introduced to the ”CSI” family during a May episode of ”CSI: Miami” that finds Horatio Caine (David Caruso) traveling to Manhattan to solve a crime. (Caruso, of course, got his big break in TV as a crimefighter in New York on ”NYPD Blue” 11 years ago.) Presumably, the episode will also introduce the other members of Calucci’s investigative team, two of whom will be played by ”Black Hawk Down”’s Carmine Giovinazzo (who had a guest role on the 2002 season premiere of the original Las Vegas ”CSI”) and Vanessa Ferlito (”24”’s Claudia). Other cast members will be named in the coming weeks.

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