CSI: Miami began Monday night with a bang -- debuting before more than 23 million viewers, one of the best first-night ratings in several seasons.
William Petersen, 49, says he's worried that the new CSI -- which he calls he calls "NYPDCSI" because it showcases NYPD Blue vets David Caruso and Kim Delaney -- may compromise the quality of the original series.
"I'm the only one who said I won't have anything to do with CSI: Miami because it's too conflict-of-interest for me to even conceive of, and they still have their hands in it," he says.
"It's tricky, because it's everything we can do to get our show done," he says. "If our show starts to suffer, I'll go berserk.
"I mean, I'll be at CBS every day because I've been promised nothing will happen and I can see it already happen."
Petersen -- who developed CSI and serves as a producer along, with Hollywood action king Jerry Bruckheimer -- is also concerned about another new CBS crime drama, Without a Trace.
Stylistically, the show, also produced by Bruckheimer, looks very much like CSI.
"It's another CSI show," Petersen said. "I can hardly even talk to those guys. I mean, what are we, McDonald's?"
On CSI, Peterson plays Gil Grissom, a high-tech Sherlock Holmes who leads a team of whiz-kid forensic scientists at the Las Vegas Police crime lab.
CBS yesterday tried to downplay the feud. "We wouldn't be doing CSI: Miami if we thought it would hurt CSI, " CBS spokesman Chris Ender said yesterday. "That's the mother-ship.
"We would never do anything to put it in jeopardy and we think they'll both be successful -- you love all your children," Ender said.
Bruckheimer declined to comment.