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Jorja Fox's Favorite Male Lead On CSI Is Really No Surprise

Fans of the "CSI" television universe and its most recent series, "CSI: Vegas," are likely looking forward to Season 2. However, longtime viewers of anything and everything "CSI" will likely be a bit bummed, as fan-favorite Jorja Fox, who notably plays Sara Sidle, will not be returning according to her official statement on Twitter.

Back in December of 2021, when "CSI: Vegas" was officially renewed (via Deadline), it became official that William Peterson's Gil Grissom would not be coming back for Season 2 — which left Fox's return sort of up-in-the-air. Of course, Fox's Sara and Peterson's Gil are longtime romantic partners from the original "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" through Season 1 of "CSI: Vegas." Fox is arguably known for her role as Sara the most over her career, although she was part of two other iconic series.

Along with her stint from 2000 to 2015 on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," Fox was Dr. Maggie Doyle on "ER" from 1996 to 1999 in over 30 episodes (via IMDb). In 2000, she also made a five-episode guest spot as an agent of the Secret Service on "The West Wing." The latter notably won 26 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run (via Emmys.com), and "ER" managed to grab 23 of its own.

All three series — "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The West Wing," and "ER" — are successful in part to do with their strong female and male leads, and Fox's favorite male lead that worked alongside her on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" is no surprise.

Jorja Fox's favorite male lead on CSI is Eric Szmanda

During an interview with SoCalPulse, Jorja Fox was asked about her roles in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The West Wing," and "ER." Specifically, Fox was asked, "You've starred on three of the most popular dramas in the history of TV — ER, The West Wing, and CSI. Who's your favorite leading man from each show?" Her answer for "ER" was actor Noah Wyle, who plays the character of John Carter in the series. For "The West Wing," she explained that actor Dulé Hill would be her favorite due to his spontaneous dancing on set. However, for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," it was actor Eric Szmanda, who notably plays Greg Sanders.

"For CSI, I'll say, Eric Szmanda, who plays Sanders. Eric was barely legal when he first started on the show," Fox explained. Szmanda would've been about 25 years old at the start of the series during 2000, so Fox likely meant he was barely legal in reference to the legal drinking age of 21. Szmanda would play Sanders from the beginning to the very end of the show, just like Fox. The two worked side-by-side together for 15 years straight on the series, so it makes sense that they would have bonded during that time. 

After "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," Szmanda has had a few other roles, with his latest coming in 2020 with the film "Adverse" starring Mickey Rourke (via IMDb).