Marg Helgenberger is returning for the 300th episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, set to air October 23. Helgenberger, who’s starring in the new CBS drama Intelligence, will reprise her original character Catherine Willows who returns to help solve a cold case that has haunted the team for 14 years. The milestone episode will be celebrated without the other original longtime lead, William Petersen, who played Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom. Helgenberger appeared for 12 seasons on CBS’ CSI before her last episode aired on January 25, 2012. The 14th season of CSI premieres September 25 at 10 PM.
EXCLUSIVE: Elisabeth Shue is in negotiations to join the cast of Parental Guidance Suggested. The CSI actress would be joining Selena Gomez, Nat Wolff, Austin Stowell, Cary Elwes and Dylan McDermott in the indie teen comedy. Shue will play one of the teen’s mothers in the movie. The actress, who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas, joined CBS’s CSI earlier this year. Parental Guidance Suggested is directed by Tim Garrick, based on the novel While I’m Dead … Feed The Dog by former record producer Ric Browde. The story follows Gomez’s Nina Pennington character and Wolff’s Ric Thibault on a rock’n’roll whirlwind. Garrick wrote the adaptation. Parental Guidance Suggested is produced by Mad Chance. CAA packaged the movie, which is shooting in LA. Shue is repped by CAA and Management 360.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
More laughs than screams? At today’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation panel at TCA, producers and actors from the long-running procedural drama said viewers should expect a lighter tone than in recent seasons with the introduction of Ted Danson’s new character, D.B. Russell.
Executive producer Carol Mendelsohn said the 12th season of CSI will still tend to open with “one or more dead or maimed bodies,” but that more humor will be injected into the procedure. “I think you can infer it — last year we were chasing a serial killer; that arc has come to an end … we will have more humor than last season.” After the session she reiterated that blood will still spill: “It will be our usual gore that we’ve all been desensitized to. … I don’t think we are going to lose our template.”
Said Mendelsohn of the decision to hire Danson: “We wanted a Sherlock Holmes — we did not want a science nerd. And we started the premiere of Season 1 with, ‘Here comes the nerd squad.’ We said, how do we get someone of great intelligence who is not a nerd?” That led, she said, to making Danson’s character the son of intellectual, Left Coast hippie parents.
UPDATE: He’s coming in as a new team leader on the graveyard shift of the original CSI, filling one of the voids left by Laurence Fishburne, who himself took over from William Petersen. The talks with Ted Danson only started about two weeks ago and closed late today, so this was truly fast casting. The show moves to a new night — from Thursdays to Wednesdays — in the hopes of growing that 10 PM time slot and invigorating ratings. Fishburne never clicked with viewers, and Danson seems like sensible casting. A proven TV star coming into an aging hit is quite a coup. Danson most recently had a gig with FX’s Damages and has been a regular on HBO’s Bored To Death,which will continue.
UPDATE: CBS press release follows:
LOS ANGELES – July 12, 2011 — Multiple Emmy Award winner Ted Danson will join the cast of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, in a series regular role, on the CBS Television Network. His character will debut in the season premiere on Wednesday, September 21 (10:00-11:00 PM,ET/PT). Danson will play the new CSI Supervisor for the grave shift after heading the crime lab in Portland. He comes to the team as they are still grappling with the professional and personal fallout from last season’s take-down of serial killer, Nate Haskell. ”You can create a new character on the page, but until the perfect actor comes along and breathes life into it,
So the world’s #1 television franchise is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The CBS/CBS TV Studios/CBS Studios International/Jerry Bruckheimer TV show was presented with the International Television Audience Award for a Drama TV Series at the 51st Monte Carlo TV Festival. It’s the fourth time that the series has been given this honor in the past six years based on stats from Eurodata TV Worldwide for the highest ratings worldwide in 2010 across five continents. This fall, the show is moving to Wednesdays on the U.S. network for the first time in its 11 years on air.
With teen pop star Justin Bieber’s telegenic looks and huge following, it was inevitable for Hollywood to come knocking. And now the Baby singer, who has done some skits on Saturday Night Live and, most recently, on MTV’s Movie Awards, is set to make his acting debut with an arc on CBS’ veteran crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I bet millions of tween and teen girls are now asking their moms: What is CSI? Yes, the demographic of the CSI audience is decades older than Bieber’s army of fans, but the mothership series previously scored with the guest casting of another teen music superstar, Taylor Swift. Bieber will make his debut on CSI in the season premiere, playing “Jason McCann, a troubled teen who is faced with a terrible decision regarding his only brother—a decision that leads him into an explosive confrontation with the CSIs.” A bit too heavy for a first acting gig, eh? I bet a Justin Bieber movie is not far away.