CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI-LV.main.jpg
Genre Mystery
Crime-Drama
Created by Anthony E. Zuiker
Starring William Petersen
Marg Helgenberger
Gary Dourdan
George Eads
Paul Guilfoyle
Jorja Fox
Eric Szmanda
Robert David Hall
Louise Lombard
Wallace Langham
Lauren Lee Smith
Laurence Fishburne
Liz Vassey
David Berman
Ted Danson
Elisabeth Harnois
Elisabeth Shue
Jon Wellner
Opening theme "Who Are You" by The Who
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 15
No. of episodes 335 + TV movie (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Carol Mendelsohn
Anthony E. Zuiker
William Petersen
Jerry Bruckheimer
Jonathan Littman
Cynthia Chvatal
Ann Donahue
Kenneth Fink
Naren Shankar
Danny Cannon
Running time 41–45 minutes
Production company(s) Jerry Bruckheimer Television
Alliance Atlantis (2000–08)
CBS Productions (2000–06)
CBS Paramount (2006–09)
CBS Television Studios (2009–present)
Distributor King World Productions (2000–07)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Release
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release October 6, 2000 – present
Chronology
Related shows CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
CSI: Cyber
External links
Website

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (referred to as CSI, also known as CSI: Las Vegas) is an American crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is filmed primarily at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.

The series follows Las Vegas criminalists (identified as "Crime Scene Investigators") working for the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) (instead of real-life "Crime Scene Analysts" and "Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department" (LVMPD))[1] as they use physical evidence to solve murders. The series mixes deduction, gritty subject matter, and character-driven drama. The network later added spin-offs CSI: Miami and CSI: NY, both of which were canceled, after ten and nine seasons, respectively. On February 18, 2014, CBS also announced plans to launch another spin-off, this time based in Quantico, Virginia, called CSI: Cyber. The pilot aired on April 30, 2014, as an episode of CSI, called "Kitty".[2]

CSI has been recognized as the most popular dramatic series internationally by the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo, which has awarded it the "International Television Audience Award (Best Television Drama Series)" three times.[3][4] Its worldwide audience was estimated to be over 73.8 million viewers in 2009.[4] In 2012, the show was named the most-watched show in the world for the fifth time.[5] CSI has been nominated multiple times for industry awards and has won nine awards during its history. The program has spawned several media projects, including an exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, a series of books, several video games, and three additional TV shows. It has reached milestone episodes, such as the 100th ("Ch-Ch-Changes"); the 150th ("Living Legend"), the 200th ("Mascara"); the 250th ("Cello and Goodbye"); and the 300th ("Frame by Frame").

CSI aired 15 seasons. It is the seventh longest-running scripted U.S. primetime TV series overall. On May 13, 2015, CBS confirmed that the series would conclude with a two-hour TV movie that will air on September 27, 2015, and feature the return of original cast members William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, and Paul Guilfoyle; Ted Danson will join the cast of CSI: Cyber.[6]

Production[edit]

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television and CBS Productions, which became CBS Paramount Television in the fall of 2006 and CBS Television Studios three years later. Formerly a co-production with the now-defunct Alliance Atlantis Communications, that company's interest in the series is now[when?] owned by investment firm GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs.[7] CBS acquired AAC's international distribution rights to the program, though the non-US DVD distribution rights did not change (for example, Momentum Pictures continues to own UK DVD rights).

The series has been heavily criticized, almost since its debut, by police and district attorneys who feel that CSI portrays an inaccurate image of how police solve crimes, and by the Parents Television Council, who note the level of gratuitous graphic violence, images and sexual content seen on the show.[citation needed] Nevertheless, CSI became the second most-watched show on American television by 2002.[8] The success of the show encouraged CBS to produce a franchise, starting in May 2002 with the spin-off CSI: Miami and continuing in 2004 with CSI: NY and in 2015 with CSI: Cyber.

The series is in syndication, and reruns are broadcast in the U.S. on the Spike and TV Land cable networks. The show has aired in reruns on the USA Network since January 14, 2011.[9] The whole CSI catalog is now exclusive in the whole NBC Universal portfolio since September 2014.[10]

As of the fall of 2008, CSI commanded an average cost of $262,600 for a 30-second commercial, according to an Advertising Age survey of media-buying firms.[11]

Concept and development[edit]

During the 1990s, Anthony Zuiker caught producer Jerry Bruckheimer's attention after writing his first movie script; he was convinced that there was a series in the concept. Bruckheimer agreed and arranged a meeting with the head of Touchstone Pictures. The studio's head at the time liked the spec script and presented it to ABC, NBC and Fox executives, who decided to pass. The head of drama development at CBS saw potential in the script, and the network had a pay-or-play contract with actor William Petersen, who said he wanted to do the CSI pilot. The network's executives liked the pilot so much that they decided to include it in their 2000 schedule immediately, airing on Fridays after The Fugitive. Initially it was thought that CSI would benefit from The Fugitive (a remake of the 1960s series), which was expected to be a hit, but by the end of the year 2000, CSI had a much larger audience.[12]

CSI has frequent comedic moments, which helps relieve the often harrowing content, sometimes descending into black comedy as in the episode "Appendicitement".

Filming locations[edit]

CSI was initially shot at Rye Canyon, a corporate campus owned by Lockheed Martin situated in the Valencia area of Santa Clarita, California. Other shows such as The Unit and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have also been shot there.[13]

After episode 11, filming shifted to the Santa Clarita Studios, and only such second unit photography as the shots of the Las Vegas streets are done on location now. Occasionally, the cast will shoot on location in Las Vegas, although more often California locations will be substituted. Santa Clarita was originally chosen for its similarity to the outskirts of Las Vegas.[14] Other California locations include Verdugo Hills High School, UCLA's Royce Hall, Pasadena City Hall, and California State University. While shooting takes place primarily at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, Santa Clarita's surroundings have proven so versatile that CSI still shoots some outdoor scenes there.[15] In the Season 4 DVD set, the special features reveal that the episode Suckers was mostly shot near Christmas during December 2003 in Las Vegas, where they filmed a Gothic club scene on location for rent, and in January 2004 some scenes were filmed at Caesars Palace.

Music[edit]

From the start, CSI's theme song has been "Who Are You", written by Pete Townshend with vocals by lead singer Roger Daltrey of The Who. Daltrey made a special appearance in the Season 7 episode "Living Legend", which also contained many musical references such as the words "Who's next" on a dry erase board in the episode's opening sequence. In certain countries, to avoid music licensing fees, a unique theme was used instead.

Throughout the series, music has played an important role; artists like The Wallflowers, John Mayer, and Akon (with Obie Trice) have performed onscreen in the episodes "The Accused Is Entitled", "Built To Kill, Part 1", and "Poppin' Tags", respectively. The Wallflowers' "Everybody out of the Water" can be found on the CSI soundtrack CD. Mogwai is often heard during scenes showing forensic tests in progress, as are Radiohead and Cocteau Twins, but several other artists have lent their music to CSI, including Rammstein and Linkin Park—used heavily in Lady Heather's story arc. Sigur Rós can be heard playing in the background in the episode "Slaves of Las Vegas", The Turtles in "Grave Danger", and Marilyn Manson in "Suckers". A cover of the Tears for Fears song "Mad World", arranged by Michael Andrews and featuring vocals by Gary Jules, was used in the pilot episode and during three episodes of season six ("Room Service", "Killer", and "Way to Go"). Industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails has also been featured multiple times throughout the three series. One episode started with The Velvet Underground's excited rendition of "Sweet Jane" and ended with the downbeat version of Cowboy Junkies' revision of the song. Ozzy Osbourne was featured, along with the music of Black Sabbath, in the thirteenth-season finale, entitled "Skin in the Game".

Plot[edit]

In Las Vegas, forensic investigators are trained to solve crimes by examining the evidence. They are on the case 24/7, scouring the scene, collecting the evidence, and finding the missing pieces that will solve the mystery. They were originally led by Gil Grissom, CSI supervisor for the grave shift and a forensic entomologist. He departed the team in order to further his researching career. His second-in-command, Catherine Willows, is a single mother with a cop's instinct. Born and raised in Vegas, Catherine was a stripper before being recruited into law enforcement. She is, for a short time, supervisor following Grissom's departure before being demoted for mismanagement and subsequently promoted and transferred to the FBI. Replacing her is D.B. Russell, who has come to the team after heading the Seattle Crime Lab. His number two is Julie Finlay, a CSI III and a blood pattern expert who previously worked with Russell in Seattle. She replaces Willows. Like Catherine, she is a blood-spatter expert with extensive knowledge of criminal psychology. Finlay supervises a team that includes Sara Sidle, a former foster-child who met Grissom at a conference in San Francisco. The team's longest serving CSI, Sara often assists Greg Sanders in his investigations. He was once an off-beat tech analyst and is now an experienced and intuitive crime solver. Greg is partners with Morgan Brody, a former Los Angeles criminalist. Assisting the team are Tech David Hodges, his long suffering colleague and rival Henry Andrews, who jointly works in the lab as both a toxicologist and DNA technician, Dr. Albert Robbins, the ever-professional medical examiner; his wise-cracking assistant, David Phillips. Previous team members include Nick Stokes, who was recruited by Grissom, and worked as a CSI for 15 years before a promotion to Lab Director in San Diego; Dr. Raymond Langston, a former lecturer with killer genetics, who is a skilled CSI before killing a suspect and forcing IA to end his career and reshuffle the Las Vegas Crime Lab; Warrick Brown, a recovering gambling addict responsible for the death of a Rookie CSI; Jim Brass, an LVPD Detective Captain who ultimately departs to look after his daughter; his supervisor, CSI turned Detective Sofia Curtis, a skilled forensic investigator who is promoted to LVPD Deputy Chief following a short stint as Grissom's number two; and Wendy Simms, a DNA tech who leaves the team to pursue her dream of becoming a CSI.

Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Ted Danson CSI Level III Supervisor
D.B. Russell
Main
Jorja Fox CSI Level III
Sara Sidle
(Consultant, season 9)
Main Guest Recurring Main
Eric Szmanda CSI Level III
Greg Sanders
(DNA Tech., seasons 1–5; CSI Level I, seasons 5–7; CSI Level II, seasons 8–9)
Recurring Main
Elisabeth Harnois CSI Level III
Morgan Brody
Guest Main
Robert David Hall Chief Medical Examiner
Al Robbins
Recurring Main
Wallace Langham Trace Technician
David Hodges
Recurring Main
David Berman Asst. Medical Examiner
David Phillips
Recurring Main
Jon Wellner DNA Technician
Henry Andrews
Recurring Main
Louise Lombard LVPD Deputy Chief
Sofia Curtis
(CSI Level III, season 5; Acting Supervisor, season 5; Asst. Supervisor, season 5; Homicide Det., seasons 6–8)
Recurring Main Guest Guest
Gary Dourdan CSI Level III
Warrick Brown
Main
William Petersen CSI Level III Supervisor
Gil Grissom
Main Guest Voice
Lauren Lee Smith CSI Level II
Riley Adams
Main
Liz Vassey DNA Technician
Wendy Simms
Recurring Main Guest
Laurence Fishburne CSI Level II
Raymond Langston
Main
Marg Helgenberger CSI Level III Asst. Supervisor
Catherine Willows
(Supervisor, seasons 5, 9–11)
Main Guest
Paul Guilfoyle LVPD Detective Captain
Jim Brass
Main
George Eads CSI Level III
Nick Stokes
(Assistant Supervisor, seasons 10–11)
Main
Elisabeth Shue CSI Level III Asst. Supervisor
Julie Finlay
Main

Current Main Cast[edit]

  • Diebenkorn "D.B." Russell (Ted Danson) is a skilled botanist and veteran crime scene investigator. Previously a CSI in Washington State, Russell is hired to "clean house". He is married and has four children, and a grand-daughter.
  • Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) is a materials and element analyst who majored in physics at Harvard University. Having previously worked as a San Francisco CSI, Sidle is devoted to her job and will go to almost any lengths to make sure justice is served.
  • Gregory "Greg" Sanders (Eric Szmanda) is a DNA specialist who was educated in a private school for gifted students. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford, Sanders joined the Las Vegas Crime Lab after a short stint with the SFPD. He later wrote a book about the history of Las Vegas.
  • Dr. David Phillips (David Berman) (nicknamed "Super Dave") is the assistant coroner to Chief Medical Examiner Al Robbins. He received his self-styled nickname after saving the life of a victim during an autopsy. Though early in the series, his co-workers tease him about his supposed lack of social experience.
  • Morgan Brody (Elisabeth Harnois) is a former member of LAPD SID and joins the Las Vegas PD CSI unit in the wake of the Nate Haskell take-down. She is the estranged daughter of the Sheriff Conrad Ecklie and a skilled crime scene analyst.
  • Henry Andrews (Jon Wellner) is the toxicology specialist of the Las Vegas Forensics Laboratory, who mainly deals with identifying toxic substances which have undergone human consumption. He later re-trains as a DNA technician.

Former Main Cast[edit]

  • Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) (258 episodes, 2000–12, 2013) is a stripper turned blood spatter analyst who joined the CSI team as a lab technician and worked her way up to supervisor under Gil Grissom. Following a demotion in Las Vegas, Catherine is offered a job at the FBI as a Special Agent in Charge, and departs as a result.
  • Dr. Raymond "Ray" Langston (Laurence Fishburne) (60 episodes, 2008–11) comes into contact with the CSI team in the course of a murder investigation and joins the Las Vegas Crime Lab as a level 1 CSI. After murdering a serial killer, Langston moves away, leaving in his wake a devastated crime lab.
  • Julie "Finn" Finlay (Elisabeth Shue) (71 episodes, 2012-15) is a blood spatter specialist who worked for Russell in Seattle and is hired in Vegas following an anger management course. She was attacked by a serial killer and left in a car trunk, with Russell stating that doctors do not know if she will ever wake up.
  • Nicholas "Nick" Stokes (George Eads) (335 episodes, 2000-15) graduated from Texas A&M and joined the Dallas Police prior to moving to Vegas. He became assistant night supervisor under Catherine Willows but was later demoted. At the end of season fifteen, Stokes accepts an offer to head the San Diego Crime Lab.
  • Sofia Curtis (Louise Lombard) (49 episodes, 2004-07, 2011) is a CSI who became part of Grissom's team following a demotion from supervisor. Sofia later makes a career switch to Detective, and, rapidly rising through the ranks ultimately becomes the Clark County Deputy Chief.
  • Riley Adams (Lauren Lee Smith) (22 episodes, 2008–09) is a former St. Louis police officer and a non-conformist who joined law enforcement to rebel against her parents, who are psychiatrists. In the season 10 opener, Catherine finds that Riley has departed the crime-lab, criticizing Catherine's leadership skills.
  • Wendy Simms (Liz Vassey) (75 episodes, 2005–10) worked in San Francisco, California, before moving to Las Vegas to take the DNA tech position left vacant by Sanders. Hodges complains that Simms thinks she's "too cool" for the lab. She later joins a CSI team in Portland and work in the field.
  • Captain James "Jim" Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) (305 episodes, 2000-2014) is a former Marine who served in Vietnam. He usually serves as the legal muscle for the CSI team and is the one who does most of the arresting and interrogating of suspects. Brass departs the LVPD in order to be a better father.

Episodes[edit]

As of February 15, 2015, 335 original episodes of the series have aired.

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 23 October 6, 2000 (2000-10-06) May 17, 2001 (2001-05-17)
2 23 September 27, 2001 (2001-09-27) May 16, 2002 (2002-05-16)
3 23 September 26, 2002 (2002-09-26) May 15, 2003 (2003-05-15)
4 23 September 25, 2003 (2003-09-25) May 20, 2004 (2004-05-20)
5 25 September 23, 2004 (2004-09-23) May 19, 2005 (2005-05-19)
6 24 September 22, 2005 (2005-09-22) May 18, 2006 (2006-05-18)
7 24 September 21, 2006 (2006-09-21) May 17, 2007 (2007-05-17)
8 17 September 27, 2007 (2007-09-27) May 15, 2008 (2008-05-15)
9 24 October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) May 14, 2009 (2009-05-14)
10 23 September 24, 2009 (2009-09-24) May 20, 2010 (2010-05-20)
11 22 September 23, 2010 (2010-09-23) May 12, 2011 (2011-05-12)
12 22 September 21, 2011 (2011-09-21) May 9, 2012 (2012-05-09)
13 22 September 26, 2012 (2012-09-26) May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15)
14 22 September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25) May 7, 2014 (2014-05-07)
15 18 September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28) February 15, 2015 (2015-02-15)
TV Movie September 27, 2015 (2015-09-27)[16]

Crossovers[edit]

  • "Who and What" – When a murder victim in Las Vegas matches the profile of a child who was abducted in New York, Grissom works with FBI agent Jack Malone to track down the killer in the Without a Trace episode "Where and Why".
  • "The Lost Girls" – Langston searches for a girl being held hostage by human traffickers he had been tracking in the CSI: Miami episode "Bone Voyage" and the CSI: NY episode "Hammer Down".
  • "In Vino Veritas" – Mac Taylor comes to Las Vegas to see his girlfriend, only to discover she's missing, so he and D.B. head to New York to find her in the CSI: NY episode "Seth and Apep".

Reception[edit]

Public reaction[edit]

CSI has often been criticized for the level and explicitness of graphic violence, images, and sexual content. The CSI series and its spin-off shows have been accused of pushing the boundary of what is considered acceptable viewing for primetime network television.[17] The series had numerous episodes on sexual fetishism and other forms of sexual pleasure (see especially the recurring character of Lady Heather, a professional dominatrix). CSI has been ranked as among the worst prime-time shows for family viewing by the Parents Television Council nearly every season since its second,[18][19][20][21] being ranked the worst show for family prime-time viewing after the 2002–2003[22] and 2005–2006[23] seasons. The PTC has also targeted certain CSI episodes for its weekly "Worst TV Show of the Week" feature.[24][25][26][27][28][29] In addition, the episode "King Baby" aired in February 2005, which the PTC named the most offensive TV show of the week,[29] also led the PTC to start a campaign to file complaints with the FCC with the episode;[30] to date, nearly 13,000 PTC members complained to the Federal Communications Commission about the episode.[31] The PTC has also asked Clorox to pull their advertisements from CSI and CSI: Miami because of the graphically violent content on those programs.[32]

A grassroots campaign started on August 2007, upon rumors of Jorja Fox leaving the show,[33] organized by the online forum Your Tax Dollars At Work. Many of its nineteen thousand members donated to the cause, collecting over $8,000 for gifts and stunts targeted at CBS executives and CSI's producers and writers. Some stunts included a wedding cake delivery to Carol Mendelsohn, 192 chocolate-covered insects with the message "CSI Without Sara Bugs Us." to Naren Shankar and a plane flying several times over the Universal Studios of Los Angeles with a "Follow the evidence keep Jorja Fox on CSI" banner.[34][35] Other protests included mailing the show's producers a dollar, in order to save Fox's contract "one dollar at a time". By October 16, 2007, according to the site's tally, more than 20,000 letters with money or flyers had been mailed to the Universal Studios and to CBS headquarters in New York from forty-nine different countries since the campaign started on September 29, 2007.[36][37][38] Fox and Mendelsohn chose to donate the money to CASA, a national association that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children.[39]

On September 27, 2007, after CSI's season eight premiered, a miniature model of character Gil Grissom's office (which he was seen building during season seven) was put up on eBay. The auction ended October 7, with the prop being sold for $15,600; CBS donated the proceeds to the National CASA Association.[40]

Law enforcement reaction[edit]

Another criticism of the show is the depiction of police procedure, which some[41] consider to be decidedly lacking in realism.[42] For instance, the show's characters not only investigate ("process") crime scenes, but they also conduct raids, engage in suspect pursuit and arrest, interrogate suspects, and solve cases, which falls under the responsibility of uniformed officers and detectives, not CSI personnel. Although some detectives are also registered CSIs, this is exceedingly rare in actual life. It is considered an inappropriate and improbable practice to allow CSI personnel to be involved in detective work as it would compromise the impartiality of scientific evidence and would be impracticably time-consuming. Additionally, it is inappropriate for the CSIs who process a crime scene to be involved in the examination and testing of any evidence collected from that scene. CSI shares this characteristic with similar British drama series, Silent Witness.

However, not all law-enforcement agencies have been as critical; many CSIs have responded positively to the show's influence and enjoy their new reputation. In the UK, Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) now commonly refer to themselves as CSIs. Some constabularies, such as Norfolk, have even gone so far as to change the name of the unit to Crime Scene Investigation.[43] Also, recruitment and training programs have seen a massive increase in applicants, with a far wider range of people now interested in something previously regarded as a scientific backwater.[44]

CSI effect[edit]

Main article: CSI effect

The "CSI effect" is a reference to the alleged phenomenon of CSI raising crime victims' and jury members' real-world expectations of forensic science, especially crime scene investigation and DNA testing.[45] This is said to have changed the way many trials are presented today, in that prosecutors are pressured to deliver more forensic evidence in court.[46] Victims and their families are coming to expect instant answers from showcased techniques such as DNA analysis and fingerprinting, when actual forensic processing often takes days or weeks, with no guarantee of revealing a 'smoking gun' for the prosecution's case. District attorneys state that the conviction rate in cases with little physical evidence has decreased, largely due to the influence of CSI on jury members.[47] Some police and district attorneys have criticized the show for giving members of the public an inaccurate perception of how police solve crimes. However, the evidence cited in support of the supposed effect is mainly anecdotes from law enforcement personnel and prosecutors. Little empirical examination of the effect has been done to date, and the one study published to date suggests the phenomenon may be an urban myth.[48]

Franchise[edit]

Main article: CSI (franchise)

Like NBC's Law & Order franchise, CBS went on to produce their own franchise starting with the spin-off CSI: Miami, set in Miami, Florida and CSI: NY, set in New York City. A number of comic books, video games and novels based on the series have been made. The series was found to be in the same "universe" as fellow CBS police-drama Without a Trace during a crossover episodes airing in early November 2007. It is also within the same universe with Cold Case because of the series' crossover with CSI: NY. William Petersen voiced plans for a CSI movie in 2009, but nothing became of that.[49]

CSI: The Experience[edit]

Main article: CSI: The Experience

In 2006, The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History developed a traveling museum exhibit called "CSI: The Experience". On May 25, 2007, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry was the first museum to host the exhibit, and the exhibit's opening featured stars from the TV series.[50] There is also a supporting website designed for the benefit of people who cannot visit the exhibit,[51] designed by Rice University's Center for Technology in Teaching & Learning and Left Brain Media.[52] "CSI: The Experience" also has an interactive attraction at the MGM Grand Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas, and there is also an interactive attraction at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [53]

Ratings[edit]

Nielsen ratings[edit]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS.

Note: U.S. network television seasons generally start in late September and end in late May, which coincides with the completion of the May sweeps.
Season Episodes Timeslot (EDT) Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1 23 Friday 9pm/8c (2000)
Thursday 9pm/8c (2001)
October 6, 2000 (2000-10-06) May 17, 2001 (2001-05-17) 2000–2001 #10 20.8[54]
2 23 Thursday 9pm/8c September 27, 2001 (2001-09-27) May 16, 2002 (2002-05-16) 2001–2002 #2 23.7[55]
3 23 September 26, 2002 (2002-09-26) May 15, 2003 2002–2003 #1 26.12[56]
4 23 September 25, 2003 (2003-09-25) May 20, 2004 2003–2004 #2 25.27[57]
5 25 September 23, 2004 (2004-09-23) May 19, 2005 2004–2005 #2 26.26[58]
6 24 September 22, 2005 (2005-09-22) May 18, 2006 2005–2006 #3 24.86[59]
7 24 September 21, 2006 (2006-09-21) May 17, 2007 2006–2007 #4 20.34[60]
8 17 September 27, 2007 (2007-09-27) May 15, 2008 2007–2008 #9 16.62[61]
9 24 October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) May 14, 2009 2008–2009 #4 18.52[62]
10 23 September 24, 2009 (2009-09-24) May 20, 2010 2009–2010 #8 14.92[63]
11 22 September 23, 2010 (2010-09-23) May 12, 2011 2010–2011 #10 13.52[64]
12 22 Wednesday 10pm/9c September 21, 2011 May 9, 2012 2011–2012 #19 12.49[65]
13 22 September 26, 2012 May 15, 2013 2012–2013 #23 11.63[66]
14 22 September 25, 2013 May 7, 2014 2013–2014 #18 11.86[67]
15 18 Sunday 10pm/9c September 28, 2014 February 15, 2015 2014–2015 #34 11.19[68]

DVR ratings[edit]

The show ranked number three in DVR playback (3.07 million viewers), according to Nielsen prime DVR lift data from September 22 to November 23, 2008.[69]

Accolades[edit]

Awards[edit]

ASCAP Award
  • 2006: Top TV Series
  • 2009: Top Television Series
  • 2013: Top Television Series
ASC Award
  • 2005: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series
  • 2006: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series
  • 2009: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series
BMI Film & TV Award
  • 2001: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2002: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2003: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2004: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2005: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2008: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2009: BMI TV Music Award
  • 2013: BMI TV Music Award
Cinema Audio Society Awards
  • 2008: Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series (for "Living Doll")
Emmys
  • 2002: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2003: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2006: Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series
  • 2007: Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series
  • 2010: Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series[70]
  • 2010: Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series[71]
Environmental Media Award
  • 2011: Television Episodic Drama
Genesis Award
  • 2006: Dramatic Series
Golden Reel Award
  • 2002: Best Sound Editing in Television – Effects & Foley, Episodic
  • 2004: Best Sound Editing in Television Episodic – Sound Effects & Foley
Logie Award
  • 2004: Most Popular Overseas Drama
Monte-Carlo Television Festival
  • 2006: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
  • 2007: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
  • 2008: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
  • 2010: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
  • 2011: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
  • 2012: International TV Audience Award, Best Drama TV Series
NAACP Image Award
  • 2003: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • 2006: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Gary Dourdan
People's Choice Awards
  • 2003: Favorite Television Dramatic Series
  • 2004: Favorite Television Dramatic Series
  • 2005: Favorite Television Drama
  • 2006: Favorite Television Drama
Producers Guild of America Award
  • 2001: Vision Award (Television)
Satellite Award
  • 2003: Best Television Series, Drama
Saturn Award
  • 2004: Best Network Television Series
  • 2005: Best Network Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award
  • 2005: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
TP de Oro
  • 2003: Best Foreign Series (Mejor Serie Extranjera)
  • 2004: Best Foreign Series (Mejor Serie Extranjera)
TV Guide Award
  • 2001: New Series of the Year
TV Quick Award
  • 2006: Best International TV Show
Visual Effects Society Award
  • 2010: Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
  • 2010: Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial

Nominations[edit]

Emmy Award
  • 2001: Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series
  • 2001: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Marg Helgenberger
  • 2001: Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series
  • 2001: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2002: Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series
  • 2002: Outstanding Drama Series
  • 2002: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Prosthetic)
  • 2002: Outstanding Single Camera Sound Mixing for a Series
  • 2002: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2003: Outstanding Drama Series
  • 2003: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Marg Helgenberger
  • 2003: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2003: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Prosthetic)
  • 2003: Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing For A Series
  • 2004: Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series
  • 2004: Outstanding Drama Series
  • 2004: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2004: Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series
  • 2005: Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Quentin Tarantino
  • 2005: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2005: Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series
  • 2005: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2006: Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series
  • 2006: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2007: Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series
  • 2007: Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2007: Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
  • 2007: Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • 2008: Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)
  • 2008: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
  • 2009: Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series
  • 2009: Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special
  • 2009: Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series
Golden Globes
  • 2001: Best TV-Series – Drama
  • 2002: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama: Marg Helgenberger
  • 2002: Best Television Series – Drama
  • 2003: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama: Marg Helgenberger
  • 2004: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama: William Petersen
  • 2004: Best Television Series – Drama
People's Choice
  • 2012: Favorite TV Crime Drama
  • 2013: Favorite TV Crime Drama
Producers Guild of America
  • 2002: Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
  • 2003: Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
  • 2004: Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
  • 2005: Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama

The series has also been nominated for multiple Screen Actors Guild Award, Writers Guild of America Award, and Directors Guild of America Award.

Merchandise[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

Region 1[edit]

DVD name Episodes Release date
CSI: Complete Season 1 23 March 25, 2003 (2003-03-25)
CSI: Complete Season 2 September 2, 2003 (2003-09-02)
CSI: Complete Season 3 March 30, 2004 (2004-03-30)
CSI: Complete Season 4 October 12, 2004 (2004-10-12)
CSI: Complete Season 5 25 November 29, 2005 (2005-11-29)
CSI: Complete Season 6 24 November 14, 2006 (2006-11-14)
CSI: Complete Season 7 November 20, 2007 (2007-11-20)
CSI: Complete Season 8 17 October 14, 2008 (2008-10-14)
CSI: Complete Season 9 24 September 1, 2009 (2009-09-01)
CSI: Complete Season 10 23 September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28)
CSI: Complete Season 11 22 September 27, 2011 (2011-09-27)
CSI: Complete Season 12 September 26, 2012 (2012-09-26)
CSI: Complete Season 13 September 17, 2013 (2013-09-17)
CSI: Complete Season 14 September 16, 2014 (2014-09-16)
CSI: Complete Season 15 18 September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15)

The U.S. box sets are released by CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount), while the Canadian box sets are released by Alliance Atlantis (distributed by Universal Studios). The first season DVD release differs from all subsequent seasons in that it is available only in 1.33:1 or 4:3 full frame, rather than the subsequent aspect ratio of 1.78:1 or 16:9 widescreen, which is the HDTV standard aspect ratio.

The first season is also the only DVD release of the series not to feature Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio, instead offering Dolby Digital stereo sound.

The Blu-ray disc release of Season One is 7.1 DTS sound and 1.78:1 widescreen.

Regions 2 and 4[edit]

Regions 2 and 4 releases have followed a pattern whereby each season is progressively released in two parts (each of 11 or 12 episodes [except for Season 8, in which part 1 contained 8 episodes and the Without a Trace crossover and part 2 contained the remaining 9 episodes] with special features split up) before finally being sold as a single box set. After having been almost 12 months behind region 2 releases after the first four series, region 4 releases are speeding up, with distributors simply releasing season five as a complete box set.

Region 2[edit]
DVD Name Release dates
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 1 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 2 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 3 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Seasons 1–3 August 23, 2004
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 4 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Seasons 1–4 December 12, 2005
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 5 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Seasons 1–5 October 2, 2006
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Grave Danger – Tarantino Episodes October 10, 2005
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 6 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 7 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 8 March 1, 2010*
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Seasons 1–8 October 26, 2009
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 9 March 1, 2010
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 10 February 7, 2011
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 11 April 30, 2012[72]
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 12 July 1, 2013
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 13 June 9, 2014

* = Re-released in slimline full-season packaging. Seasons 1–8 were released in 2 parts between 2003 and 2009.

Region 4[edit]
DVD name Release dates
Full season Part 1 Part 2
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 1 November 27, 2003 October 21, 2002 April 9, 2003
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 2 October 28, 2004 October 27, 2003 March 30, 2004
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 3 October 4, 2005 March 18, 2005 September 13, 2005
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 4 November 8, 2006 May 12, 2006 August 17, 2006
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 5 January 24, 2007 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Grave Danger – Tarantino Episodes June 6, 2007
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 6 December 5, 2007 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 7 December 3, 2008 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 8 July 15, 2009 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 9 June 2, 2010 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 10 August 3, 2011 Released Released
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 11 June 6, 2012
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 12 August 8, 2013
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 13 August 6, 2014
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 14 August 5, 2015[73]

Blu-ray releases[edit]

CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) released the first season on High Definition Blu-ray disc on May 12, 2009.[74] Unlike its DVD counterpart CSI: Crime Scene Investigation#DVD releases, this release is in its original 16:9 widescreen format and feature 7.1 surround sound. Features on the Season 1 BR set are also in High Def.

Season 10 was released on November 18, 2011 in Region B. Like the Season 1 Blu-ray release, it features a 16:9 widescreen transfer, but it only has DTS-HD 5.1 sound.[75]

Season 9 was released on September 1, 2009. Like the Season 1 Blu-ray release, it features a 16:9 widescreen transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround sound. Extras include commentaries, featurettes and BD-Live functionality.[76]

Season 8 was released on Blu-ray on May 29, 2009 in Region B.[77]

Other releases[edit]

Further information: CSI (franchise)

CSI has also been released as a series of mobile games. In Fall 2007, CBS teamed up with game developer Gameloft to bring CSI to mobile phones. The first of the series to be published was CSI: Miami. The game features actual cast members such as Horatio Caine, Alexx Woods and Calleigh Duquesne who are trying to solve a murder in South Beach with the player's assistance.[78] The game is also available for download on various iPod devices.[79]

In spring 2008, Gameloft and CBS released "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – The Mobile Game" which is based on the original series in Las Vegas. This game introduces the unique ability to receive calls during the game to provide tips and clues about crime scenes and evidence. As for the storyline, the game developers collaborated with Anthony E. Zuiker (the series creator) to ensure that the plot and dialogue were aligned with the show's style.[80]

Books[edit]

Further information: CSI (novels)
  • True Stories of CSI: The Real Crimes Behind the Best Episodes of the Popular TV Show (published August 2009) – Katherine Ramsland follows the evidence and revisits some of the most absorbing episodes of the phenomenally popular C.S.I. television franchise, and explores the real-life crimes that inspired them. She also looks into the authenticity of the forensic investigations recreated for the dramatizations, and the painstaking real-life forensic process employed in every one of the actual cases—from notorious mass-murderer Richard Speck, through the massacre of Buddhist monks in an Arizona Temple, to a baffling case of apparent spontaneous combustion.

Comic books[edit]

Main article: CSI (comics)
  • In 2003, comic book publisher IDW Publishing began releasing a series of one-shots & miniseries based on all three CSI series, with the majority being based on the original Vegas-based series.
  • In September 2009, Tokyopop released a manga version of CSI written by Sekou Hamilton and drawn by Steven Cummings. It centers around five teenagers working at the Las Vegas Crime Lab as interns as they try to solve a murder case of a student at their high school, which leads to a shocking discovery. Grissom and Catherine are seen now and then, as well as other CSI characters.

Video games[edit]

Main article: CSI (video games)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]