CSI (franchise)

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CSI franchise
Creator Anthony E. Zuiker solely of original series, co-creator of spin-offs with
Ann Donahue and Carol Mendelsohn
Original work CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Print publications
Novels CSI novels
Comics CSI comics
Films and television
Television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
CSI: Cyber
Games
Video games CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI: Dark Motives
CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder
CSI: Hard Evidence
CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
CSI: Deadly Intent
CSI: Crime City
CSI: Fatal Conspiracy
Miscellaneous
Exhibition CSI: The Experience
Partwork CSI Magazine
Toys CSI: Forensics Lab
CSI: DNA Laboratory
CSI: Forensic Facial

CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) is a media franchise of American television programs created by Anthony E. Zuiker and originally broadcast on CBS, all of which deal with forensic scientists as they unveil the circumstances behind mysterious and unusual deaths and crimes committed.

The original series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which began in 2000, was renewed for its 15th season on March 13, 2014.[1] The first series in the franchise to end was CSI: Miami, which began in 2002 and was canceled after ten seasons on May 13, 2012.[2] CSI: NY which began in 2004 was canceled after nine seasons on May 10, 2013.[3]

On February 18, 2014, CBS announced plans to launch a new spin-off of the franchise called CSI: Cyber.[4] A backdoor pilot episode aired on April 30 as a season 14 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It is inspired by producer Mary Aiken's previous work as a cyber-psychologist, the new series revolves around Special Agent Avery Ryan (Patricia Arquette)[5] in charge of the Cyber Crime Division at Quantico, Virginia.[6] CBS officially picked up CSI: Cyber for series on May 9, 2014, as announced on Jerry Bruckheimer's Twitter account.[7]

As of May 7, 2014, 746 episodes of the CSI franchise have aired.

Overview[edit]

The CSI franchise is available in 200 territories with an audience of two billion people,[8] various spin-offs have been developed to cater for the market, including novels, comic books, and computer games.

The franchise has had a large cultural impact. It has spawned what has been called the "CSI effect", in which juries often have unreasonable expectations of real-life forensics because of what they have seen on CSI. Equally, the new-found popularity of forensics dramas on television has led to an increase in applications for courses dealing with forensic science or archaeological science—in the United Kingdom applications are up by 30%.[9] The franchise is so influential that fellow CBS show How I Met Your Mother advertised itself as "not a Crime Scene Investigation show".[10] In some ways the franchise may also fill a cultural need:

"We started in 2000 and it was a success, but our ratings really shot up after the September 11 attacks," Zuiker says in a documentary about the CSI phenomenon to be aired at Christmas [2007]. "People were rushing to us for their comfort food. There was a sense of justice in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – it helped to know that there were people like our characters out there helping to solve crimes. And, of course, 9/11 was the world's largest crime scene."[8]

However the "CSI effect" has a negative side, as criminals are frequently covering up evidence that could be used to trace them using techniques learned by watching CSI and other shows in the same genre.[11]

Series[edit]

The first series spun off the second and fourth via a back-door pilot episode; the second series then in turn spun off the third.

Series Television seasons Duration
2000\01 2001\02 2002\03 2003\04 2004\05 2005\06 2006\07 2007\08 2008\09 2009\10 2010\11 2011\12 2012\13 2013\14 2014\15
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 2000–
CSI: Miami 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2002–12
CSI: NY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2004–13
CSI: Cyber 1 2015

Characters[edit]

Character No. of episode appearances Portrayer Franchise
duration
Franchise Total
CSI Miami NY Cyber
Russell, D.B.D.B. Russell 66 1 67 Danson, TedTed Danson 2011–present
Finlay, JulieJulie Finlay 53 53 Shue, ElisabethElisabeth Shue 2012–present
Sidle, SaraSara Sidle 277 277 Fox, JorjaJorja Fox 2000–2007, 2010–present
Stokes, NickNick Stokes 317 317 Eads, GeorgeGeorge Eads 2000–present
Sanders, GregGreg Sanders 315 315 Szmanda, EricEric Szmanda 2000–present
Robbins, AlAl Robbins 310 310 Hall, Robert DavidRobert David Hall 2000–present
Hodges, DavidDavid Hodges 229 229 Langham, WallaceWallace Langham 2003–present
Phillips, DavidDavid Phillips 271 271 Berman, DavidDavid Berman 2000–present
Brody, MorganMorgan Brody 67 67 Harnois, ElisabethElisabeth Harnois 2011–present
Andrews, HenryHenry Andrews 108 108 Wellner, JonJon Wellner 2005–present
Grissom, GilGil Grissom 196 196 Petersen, WilliamWilliam Petersen 2000–2008
Willows, CatherineCatherine Willows 264 264 Helgenberger, MargMarg Helgenberger 2000–2013
Brown, WarrickWarrick Brown 183 183 Dourdan, GaryGary Dourdan 2000–2008
Brass, JimJim Brass 317 317 Guilfoyle, PaulPaul Guilfoyle 2000–2014
Curtis, SofiaSofia Curtis 52 52 Lombard, LouiseLouise Lombard 2004–2011
Adams, RileyRiley Adams 22 22 Smith, Lauren LeeLauren Lee Smith 2008–2009
Langston, RaymondRaymond Langston 61 1 1 63 Fishburne, LaurenceLaurence Fishburne 2008–2011
Simms, WendyWendy Simms 78 78 Vassey, LizLiz Vassey 2005–2010
Caine, HoratioHoratio Caine 1 232 1 234 Caruso, DavidDavid Caruso 2002–2012
Duquesne, CalleighCalleigh Duquesne 1 232 233 Procter, EmilyEmily Procter 2002–2012
Delko, EricEric Delko 1 221 222 Rodríguez, AdamAdam Rodríguez 2002–2012
Woods, AlexxAlexx Woods 1 145 146 Alexander, KhandiKhandi Alexander 2002–2009
Speedle, TimTim Speedle 1 50 51 Cochrane, RoryRory Cochrane 2002–2007
Donner, MeganMegan Donner 10 10 Delaney, KimKim Delaney 2002
Salas, YelinaYelina Salas 60 60 Milos, SofiaSofia Milos 2003–2009
Wolfe, RyanRyan Wolfe 182 182 Togo, JonathanJonathan Togo 2004–2012
Tripp, FrankFrank Tripp 187 187 Linn, RexRex Linn 2003–2012
Boa Vista, NataliaNatalia Boa Vista 153 153 LaRue, EvaEva LaRue 2005–2012
Price, TaraTara Price 23 23 Echikunwoke, MegalynMegalyn Echikunwoke 2008–2009
Cardoza, JesseJesse Cardoza 25 25 Cibrian, EddieEddie Cibrian 2009–2010
Simmons, WalterWalter Simmons 63 63 Miller, Omar BensonOmar Benson Miller 2009–2012
Taylor, MacMac Taylor 1 2 197 200 Sinise, GaryGary Sinise 2004–2013
Bonasera, StellaStella Bonasera 1 140 141 Kanakaredes, MelinaMelina Kanakaredes 2004–2010
Messer, DannyDanny Messer 1 197 198 Giovinazzo, CarmineCarmine Giovinazzo 2004–2013
Burn, AidenAiden Burn 1 26 27 Ferlito, VanessaVanessa Ferlito 2004–2006
Hawkes, SheldonSheldon Hawkes 1 197 198 Harper, HillHill Harper 2004–2013
Flack, DonDon Flack 197 197 Cahill, EddieEddie Cahill 2004–2013
Monroe, LindsayLindsay Monroe 172 172 Belknap, AnnaAnna Belknap 2005–2013
Hammerback, SidSid Hammerback 168 168 Joy, RobertRobert Joy 2005–2013
Ross, AdamAdam Ross 141 141 Buckley, A. J.A. J. Buckley 2005–2013
Danville, JoJo Danville 57 57 Ward, SelaSela Ward 2010–2013
Avery Ryan 1 1 Arquette, PatriciaPatricia Arquette 2014–present

Crime labs[edit]

Las Vegas

  • Supervisors: D.B. Russell, Julie Finlay
  • Former Supervisors: Gil Grissom, Jim Brass, Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, Sofia Curtis
    • The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Crime Lab is a modern Crime Lab, and shares a building with the LVPD Police Department. It reports to the sheriff's office. In early episodes of season one, the lab is frequently referred to as the number two crime lab in the United States, solving cases believed unsolvable.

Miami

  • Supervisors: Horatio Caine, Calleigh Duquesne, Megan Donner

New York

  • Supervisors: Mac Taylor, Jo Danville, Stella Bonasera
    • The New York City Police Department's CSI unit is the only team to have had two labs. The first was an old building in which rustic brick contrasted against new, flat-paneled walls and top-of-the-range lab equipment. The second Lab is on the 35th floor of a high-rise building with glass walls and state-of-the-art equipment. The second lab was blown up in the season three finale, "Snow Day", but was since restored.

Theme songs[edit]

The opening themes for all four series are remixes of songs performed by the rock band, The Who.

Series Theme song
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Who Are You
CSI: Miami "Won't Get Fooled Again"
CSI: NY "Baba O'Riley"
CSI: Cyber "I Can See For Miles"

Crossovers[edit]

Crossovers are possible between CSI series, as well as with other programs within the same creative stable. Between the series, the baton is passed to the new CSI series via a crossover/pilot where cases are overlapped and personnel are shared. Three actors have appeared in all three series: David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, and Gary Sinise.

Within the franchise[edit]

Episode title Crossover between Original airdate Description
"Cross Jurisdictions" CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2.22)

CSI: Miami (acted as series pilot)
May 9, 2002 Catherine and Warrick team up with Horatio Caine to investigate the murder of Las Vegas' former chief and the kidnapping of his wife and daughter following a wild party.
"MIA/NYC NonStop" CSI: Miami (2.23)

CSI: NY (acted as series pilot)
May 17, 2004 Horatio travels to New York, believing it to be the residence of someone who committed a double homicide. He's assisted by Mac Taylor, who suspects that the crimes in Miami might be connected to the murder of an undercover New York cop.
"Felony Flight"

"Manhattan Manhunt"
CSI: Miami (Part 1–4.07)

CSI: NY (Part 2–2.07)
November 7, 2005

November 9, 2005
A convicted serial killer, Henry Darius, sabotages and escapes an airplane that was flying him from New York to Miami, where he supposedly buried a body. After fleeing the crash site, he goes on a killing spree and abducts a college student. Since Darius was originally arrested in New York, Mac Taylor arrives in Miami to help Horatio track the killer down. Darius murders a group of teens in a luxury apartment where he tries to rob a security vault.
CSI: Trilogy:
"Bone Voyage"

"Hammer Down"

"The Lost Girls"

CSI: Miami (Part 1–8.07)

CSI: NY (Part 2–6.07)

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Part 3–10.07)

November 9, 2009

November 11, 2009

November 12, 2009
Ray Langston arrives in Miami to investigate a severed leg found in the Everglades that belonged to a girl who disappeared in Las Vegas a week before. He discovers a human-trafficking ring that specializes in black-market organ harvesting that leads him to New York, where he assists Mac in attempting to free a hostage. Ray returns to Las Vegas to find a missing girl who's been taken by the human traffickers and may be part of a prostitution ring.
"In Vino Veritas"

"Seth and Apep"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Part 1–13.13)

CSI: NY (Part 2–9.15)
February 6, 2013

February 8, 2013
Mac Taylor visits Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend, Christine, who's missing upon his arrival. It turns out she was kidnapped in New York before the trip and a look-alike took her place. D.B Russell insists on accompanying Mac back to New York to help find her.
"Kitty" CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (14.21)

CSI: Cyber (acted as series pilot)
April 30, 2014 FBI Special Agent Avery Ryan assists D.B. Russell and his team in solving a crime that started on the internet and played out in the real world.

With other series[edit]

Episode title Crossover between Original airdate Description
"Cold Reveal" CSI: NY (3.22)

Cold Case
May 2, 2007 Detective Scotty Valens visits the CSI lab in New York to tell Stella that her DNA matches evidence in a Philadelphia cold case, making her a suspect.
"Who and What"

"Where and Why"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Part 1–8.06)

Without a Trace (Part 2–6.06)
November 8, 2007 Jack Malone joins forces with Grissom to track a serial killer since a boy who was kidnapped in New York six years ago matches the profile of a Las Vegas murder victim. The two of them establish the killer's pattern of behavior to track him down.
"Fish in a Drawer"

"Two and a Half Deaths"
Two and a Half Men (Part 1–5.17)

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Part 2–8.16)
May 5, 2008

May 8, 2008
Featured the two shows' writers swapping roles. George Eads made a cameo in "Fish in a Drawer", while "Two and a Half Deaths" featured Grissom investigating the death of a sitcom diva who was shooting in Las Vegas. Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones made cameos as themselves and their characters wearing the same outfits from "Fish in a Drawer".
"Theory of Everything"

"Fireball Stun Gun"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (8.15)

MythBusters (Test 8.10)
May 1, 2008

June 2, 2010
The team investigates an abundance of cases that turn out to be related, including the death of a man who may have spontaneously combusted in police custody due to the combination of two supposedly nonlethal weapons: pepper spray and a stun gun. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage made cameos in "Theory of Everything" as lab technicians watching Nick test the idea and then later on MythBusters tested it themselves in earnest and found it plausible.

TV movies[edit]

In the UK, Channel 5 edited together several two-part episodes to make one whole feature. These include:

Title Series Episodes edited together
The CSI Pilot Movie CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Pilot" / "Cool Change"
The CSI Movie: Grave Danger CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Grave Danger (Part 1)" / "Grave Danger (Part 2)"
The CSI Movie: Bullet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "A Bullet Runs Through It (Part 1)" / "A Bullet Runs Through It (Part 2)"
The CSI Movie: Dr Who & Mr Jekyll CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Doctor Who" / "Meat Jekyll"
The CSI Movie: Crisis CSI: Miami "No Man's Land" / "Man Down"
The CSI Movie: Fallen CSI: Miami "All Fall Down" / "Fallen"
The CSI Movie: Revenge CSI: NY "Nothing for Something" / "Life Sentence"

Other media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Main article: CSI (comics)

There have been a number of comic books based on all three series, published by IDW Publishing. Writers include Jeff Mariotte and Max Allan Collins.

Games[edit]

Main article: CSI (video games)

The CSI franchise has spawned 11 computer games across the three shows.

Gameloft has also published a series of mobile games based on the CSI series, including CSI: The Mobile Game (Vegas) and CSI: Miami.

In addition, several board games and puzzles based on all three series have seen release, all published by Canadian game manufacturer Specialty Board Games, Inc. In 2011, the CSI Board Game was released by another Canadian company, GDC–GameDevCo Ltd. It is the first game to include all three CSI shows.[12]

A pinball game machine called CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was released in 2008.[13]

Exhibition[edit]

Main article: CSI: The Experience

Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry opened an exhibit in CSI's honor on May 25, 2007 called: "CSI: The Experience".[14] Starting in October 2011 it will be at Discovery Times Square in New York City.[15] There is also a game on the website where you are trained in forensic biology, weapons and tool mark analyses, toxicology and the autopsy.

Magazine[edit]

Titan Magazines published 11 issues of CSI Magazine starting in November 2007. They contained a mixture of features and interviews looking into the world of the three CSIs and the people who help create it.[16] It was available in the UK and US.[17]

Novels[edit]

Main article: CSI (novels)

Various novelizations have appeared based on the series. Authors include Max Allan Collins (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Donn Cortez (CSI: Miami), Stuart M. Kaminsky (CSI: NY), and Keith R.A. DeCandido (CSI: NY).

Toys[edit]

A range of toys have been developed. These include:

  • "CSI: Forensics Lab"
  • "CSI: DNA Laboratory"
  • "CSI: Forensic Facial"

However, they have been the source of some controversy. The Parents Television Council, who have complained about CSI in general, and in 2004 released a statement specifically aimed at the toys.[18] The PTC e-mailed letters to their supporters, telling them the content of the games were entirely inappropriate for children to be exposed to "because the CSI franchise often displays graphic images, including close-ups of corpses with gunshot wounds and other bloody injuries." The letter went on to say "The PTC doesn't think the recreation of blood, guts and gore should be under a child's Christmas tree this year," PTC concluded. "This so-called 'toy' is a blatant attempt to market CSI and its adult-oriented content directly to children."

In urging members to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, PTC said CBS parent company Viacom needed to hear from parents who are concerned about the "graphic scenes of blood, violence, and sex" in their product. They also asked their supporters to contact Target and Toys "R" Us.

Documentaries[edit]

Because of the popularity of the CSI franchise in the United Kingdom, Channel 5 created two documentaries about CSI. The first one called The Real CSI follows real crime scene investigators as they work on crime scene. The second documentary, True CSI, features true tales of how forensic science has helped solve some of the world's best known crimes. True CSI had actors re-enacting the crime as well as interviews with people involved in the solving of the crimes themselves. Cases featured included the Sam Sheppard case.

In early 2007, British channel itv1 broadcast a special of its flagship documentary Tonight With Trevor McDonald discussing the ramifications of the "CSI effect", highlighting the effect not only of the franchise but of several other British and American TV police procedurals.

The popularity of the series has also spawned forensic based reality television/documentary programs, including A&E's The First 48 and truTV's North Mission Road.

In April 2012, PBS's Frontline aired a documentary called "The Real CSI" investigating the limitations of the CSI techniques in forensic science.[19]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Collins, Scott (March 13, 2014). "CBS renews CSI, Good Wife, Two and a Half Men, 15 other shows". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 13, 2012). "It's Official: CSI: Miami Canceled; CSI: NY Renewed by CBS". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 10, 2013). "CBS Cancels CSI: NY After Nine Seasons". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 5, 2014). "Patricia Arquette To Topline CSI's Cyber Crime Spinoff". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Hibberd, James (March 5, 2014). "Patricia Arquette to star in CSI spinoff". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Rice, Lynette (February 18, 2014). "CBS developing another CSI spinoff". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 9, 2014). "CBS Orders NCIS: New Orleans, The Odd Couple, Stalker, Madam Secretary, Scorpion & The McCarthys". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Gilbert, Gerard (December 19, 2006). "CSI: The cop show that conquered the world". The Independent. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  9. ^ Hackett, Paul (March 28, 2007). "Want a career in forensics? Here's some hard evidence". The Guardian. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  10. ^ CBS (August 20, 2007). "How I Met Your Mother -- CSI: Style". YouTube. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Rowlands, Ted (February 15, 2006). "'CSI effect' cuts both ways: Experts say crime shows help law enforcement and criminals". CNN. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "CSI Board Game". GDC–GameDevCo. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  13. ^ "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". Stern Pinball. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  14. ^ Moore, Laura (May 24, 2007). "CSI Stars Spend a Night at the Museum". TV Guide. Retrieved May 24, 2007.
  15. ^ "Tickets on Sale Now for CSI: The Experience at New York's Discovery Times Square". (September 15, 2011). PR Newswire. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  16. ^ Trongo, Rachel (October 30, 2007). "The Official CSI Magazine Hits Newsstands". CSI Files. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
  17. ^ "The Official CSI Magazine". CBS Store.com. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  18. ^ Moore, Jimmy (November 17, 2004). "Pro-Family Group Outraged Over CSI 'Toy'". Men's News Daily. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
  19. ^ "The Real CSI". (April 17, 2012). Frontline. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
Further reading

As well as fictional books based on the franchise there have also been a number of guides published: