Sometimes, an actor can be great, and the character can be good – but for one reason or another, they don’t really fit the jigsaw. As “CSI” producer Naren Shankar told TV Guide Magazine (via TV fanatic) in 2009, that was the case for Lauren Lee Smith’s Riley Adams, who simply happened to be on the show at a time when the CSI cast was going through a massive shakeup.
“The issue was how we felt the group was functioning,” said Shankar. When we brought in the Riley character, it got a bit out of order because we lost Warrick, we lost Sara [Sidle, as portrayed by Jorja Fox], and then in the middle of last season Grissom [William Petersen] finally left. I think, as a result, this character never found a foothold compared to the rest of the crew. “
It’s a pity that fans didn’t have more time to get to know Riley, but as a silver lining, Fox fan favorite Sara Sidle, ended up returning to Season 10 on her behalf.
https://www.looper.com/719414/the-real-reason-lauren-lee-smith-left-csi/ The real reason Lauren Lee Smith left CSI