Peterson, 59, was set to both star in and executive-produce the Cinemax drama pilot Hurt People, which tells the story of a veteran hitman who is employed by the same crime family that killed his wife. Petersen, along with his producing partner Cynthia Chvatal, helped develop and sell the show to Cinemax with a pilot order in April.
According to Deadline, Petersen's vision for the project diverged from that of writer Peter Macmanus. It is unclear how Petersen's departure will affect Hurt People.
Petersen left CSI during the CBS show's ninth season and returned for one episode in 2011. He remains an executive producer.