D.B. Russell

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D.B. Russell
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation character
Ted Danson as Diebenkorn "D.B" Russell
First appearance "73 Seconds"
Portrayed by Ted Danson
City Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation CSI
Rank CSI Level 3
Position Night Shift Supervisor
Seasons 12, 13, 14, 15

Diebenkorn "D.B" Russell is a fictional character from the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, portrayed by Ted Danson. He made his first screen appearance in the season twelve episode "73 Seconds", which was broadcast on September 21, 2011.


Following Laurence Fishburne's (Raymond Langston) decision to leave CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at the end of the eleventh season, producers immediately sought his replacement.[1] Lynette Rice and James Hibberd from Entertainment Weekly reported that broadcaster CBS sent offers out to Tony Shalhoub, Robin Williams and John Lithgow for the role.[1] In July 2011, it was announced that Ted Danson had been cast as D.B. Russell, the new CSI graveyard shift supervisor.[2] Of his casting, the show's executive producer, Carol Mendelsohn, stated "We're very excited Ted Danson came along. You can create a new character on the page, but until the perfect actor comes along and breathes life into it, it's just words."[2] Mendelsohn's colleague, Don McGill, added that Danson "couldn't be more perfect" for the role.[1] Danson made his first appearance on September 21, 2011.[2] In March 2013 following the announcement of Season 14, it was confirmed that Ted Danson had signed for two more years on the show.[3]



Russell's parents were itinerant folk musicians. He didn't receive any formal education until college, but he is smart. He previously worked as a CSI in Seattle, Washington. He comes to Las Vegas as the new Night Shift Supervisor, since Catherine Willows and Nick Stokes were demoted as a result of Internal Affairs removing Raymond Langston from the team. He is married to Barbara Russell,[4] with a son, Charlie, who is a student and basketball player at Western Las Vegas University; a daughter, Maya, who in turn has a daughter of her own, Kaitlyn; and two other children.[4]

On the team[edit]

Russell first appears in the season 12 premiere as the new night shift supervisor, following Catherine Willows' demotion.

Nick's work ethics are questioned by Russell and his suggesting to a cop to go easy on a suspect has caused Catherine to loudly vent about her demotion and about the CSIs going rogue in Los Angeles. As the whole crime lab gathers around (in the main break-room) the heated conversation, it was interrupted by D.B.'s text for them all to go to breakfast with him.

In the episode "Bittersweet", Russell confronts Sara. D.B. hands the case to Sara, who takes apart the concrete blocks with the body parts and finds a young girl with sexual trauma. While D.B. is not pleased with her, he does not pull her off the case and instead supervises her closely. After the case, D.B. sits with Sara and asks her out to dinner, as friends.

In the episode "Zippered", Russell lets Catherine be the lead of the investigation, despite her demotion. They both even butt heads with two FBI agents after they offer their help, which has caused D.B. to call a "family meeting".

In the episode "Ms. Willows Regrets", as Catherine (who is in tears) criticizes an FBI agent for not protecting her friend Laura and four other agents, Russell tells her to walk away from the situation and go home; but when he arrives in his office and looks at an email that Catherine sent, he is surprised to see that she intends to resign. When Catherine gets home, her home is shot at with her inside. As she is able to get out of the house safely, Russell rushes to the rescue and is able to drive away, with Catherine barely making it through, due to the people that were trying to gun her down. In the next episode, "Willows in the Wind", he escapes with Catherine, who has been shot. They finally return to the crime lab after Catherine tells him about the reason she became a CSI (in the strip club she formerly worked in), hiding in body bags—a plan devised by Russell. Catherine reveals she never planned to resign; it was a trap created by the assassins trying to kill her. In the end, Catherine takes a job with the FBI after her final case is closed. Russell strongly supports her in her decision. She holds a "family meeting" with all the team having a very emotional goodbye.

From series 12 episode 4 "Maid Man" it is also revealed that Russell has an interest in forensic botany.


  1. ^ a b c Rice, Lynette; Hibberd, James (July 12, 2011). "Ted Danson takes over 'CSI' from Laurence Fishburne". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Ted Danson to join CSI in autumn". BBC News (BBC). July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "‘CSI’ Signs New Deal With Star Ted Danson, Is Renewed For Next Season By CBS". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Homecoming". CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. May 9, 2012. CBS.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Catherine Willows
Night Shift Supervisor ("73 Seconds"–) Succeeded by