The actor - who played Gil Grissom in CSI for nine years until leaving in 2009 - will play Hollis Brown, a veteran hitman employed by the crime family responsible for his wife's death.
Brown is also searching for his estranged daughter, who is out to seek revenge for her mother's murder.
Petersen will also become executive producer of Hurt People alongside creators Graham Kind and Tim Headington, according to Deadline.
Hurt People will be written by former AMC production executive Peter McManus in his television screenwriting debut.
It is believed that the show's producers are hoping that it will be picked up by a primary cable network, or one of the industry's emerging original programming players such as Netflix.
Petersen's former CSI co-star Marg Helgenberger recently revealed that he almost reprised his role as Grissom for her character's exit storyline.
When Petersen decided against it after his wife gave birth to premature twins, Helgenberger said that the show's boss Carole Mendelsohn described it as a "blessing" as it allowed Helgenberger's final episodes to just be about her.
> 'CSI' casts Elisabeth Shue to replace Marg Helgenberger
> 'CSI' casts 'Charlie's Angels' star Jaclyn Smith