CSI:Crime Scene Investigation

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Csi Logo

Format Crime Drama
Police procedural
Picture Format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Running Time 40–45 minutes
Created by Anthony E. Zuiker
Starring William Petersen
Marg Helgenberger
Laurence Fishburne
Gary Dourdan
George Eads
Jorja Fox
Eric Szmanda
Robert David Hall
Louise Lombard
Wallace Langham
Liz Vassey
Elisabeth Harnois
David Berman
Lauren Lee Smith
Jon Wellner
Paul Guilfoyle
Elisabeth Shue
as Julie Finlay
Ted Danson
as D.B. Russell
Opening Theme "Who Are You" by The Who
Country of origin United States
Original channel CBS
Original run October 6, 2000
No. of seasons 15
No. of episodes 335
(As of February 15, 2015)
List of episodes List of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episodes
Website CSI
IMDB profile CSI summary CSI

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (commonly referred to as CSI or CSI: Las Vegas) is a popular, Emmy Award-winning CBS television series that trails the investigations of a team of Las Vegas forensic scientists as they unveil the circumstances behind mysterious and unusual deaths and crimes committed. The show has spawned two spinoffs, each enjoying their own success. The first spin-off, which debuted in September 2002, is set in Miami (CSI: Miami), the show's second is set in New York City (CSI: NY) debuted in September 2004, and the third (CSI: Cyber) debuted in March 2015. CSI is produced in partnership with the Canadian media company Alliance Atlantis. The series concluded its run with a two-part series finale (aired as season 16, episodes 1 and 2), that aired on September 27, 2015, and starred Ted Danson, Marg Helgenberger, and William Petersen.

What CSI is about?Edit

Csi team

The show follows the cases of the Crime Scene Investigation division of the Las Vegas Police Department, usually referred to by officers as the "Las Vegas Crime Lab". Anthony E. Zuiker chose to set the series in Las Vegas because—as mentioned in the pilot episode—that city's crime lab is the second most active in the United States, after the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.[1] The division solves crimes almost entirely through the means of forensic evidence, which may or may not come to the conclusion of a murder or accidental death. Keeping in theme with the setting, investigations often lead to taboo subjects, such as sexual deviations. The bizarre conclusions of these cases often force one to question morals and beliefs and possibly human nature in general.


Stylistically, the show has drawn favorable comparisons to Quincy and The X-Files. The show's gadgets and occasional usage of yet-to-be-invented technology have moved the show nominally into the genre of science fiction and garnered it a Saturn Award nomination for best network television series. The series also occasionally lapses into the realm of fantasy, such as a 2006 episode, Toe Tags which is told from the point of view of several corpses in the CSI lab who reanimate and discuss their deaths with each other.

The series is known for its unusual camera angles, percussive editing techniques, hi-tech gadgets, detailed technical discussion, and graphic portrayal of bullet trajectories, blood spray patterns, organ damage, methods of evidence recovery (e.g. fingerprint's from the inside of latex gloves), and crime reconstructions. This technique of shooting extreme close-ups, normally with explanatory commentary from one of the characters is referred to in the media as the "CSI shot". Many episodes feature lengthy scenes in which experiments, tests, or other technical work is portrayed in detail, usually with minimal sounds effects and accompanying music — a technique reminiscent of Mission Impossible. Often the lighting, composition, and mise-en-scene elements are heavily influenced byavant-garde film.

052811 0447 CSICrimeSce1

Although violence plays an important role in the series, in terms of the investigators' actual conduct, the series is actually less violent (but more sexual) than its immediate spin-off, CSI: Miami in that the Las Vegas investigators rarely use deadly force. In fact, Gil Grissom, supervisor of the crime lab, has expressed distaste for carrying a firearm, and Warrick Brown and Nick Stokes are hinted at as having barely passable firearms expertise. Although most episodes cover the solving of two (usually unrelated) cases, a few episodes focus on a single case. In general, the crime is solved, but in some cases, they fail (which makes the story more realistic).

Opening ThemeEdit


The season 8 cast of CSI, after the departure of Jorja Fox.

The opening credits feature clips for every main cast from previous seasons. Since 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 a season seven episode, "Living Legend".

CSI Las Vegas Season 1 Original Intro Opening Theme Song00:29

CSI Las Vegas Season 1 Original Intro Opening Theme Song

Original Opening Titles (season 1)

CSI Las Vegas Season 10 Intro Opening Theme Song00:32

CSI Las Vegas Season 10 Intro Opening Theme Song

Opening Titles (season 10)

CSI Opening Season 1400:32

CSI Opening Season 14



The series can be split into three distinct eras: the first, starring William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger, the second starring Laurence Fishburne and Helgenberger, and the third starring Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue. Helgenberger briefly starred alongside Danson, while Petersen, Helgenberger and Danson all starred in the shows sixteenth season. No actor has appeared as a regular in every season of the show, though Fox, Szmanda, Hall, and Berman have all featured in some capacity throughout. Petersen, Helgenberger, and Szmanda are the only actors to appear in both the first and final episodes of the series.

Regular Cast

  • William Petersen as Gil Grissom; main cast 1.01-9.10, guest star 9.16, 11.13, 13.03, 13.11, 16.01-16.02
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows; main cast: 1.01-12.12, guest: 14.05, 16.01-16.02
  • Ted Danson as D.B. Russell; main cast 12.01-16.02
  • Elisabeth Shue as Julie Finlay; main cast 12.14-15.18
  • Laurence Fishburne as Ray Langston; main cast 9.11-11.22, guest star 9.09-9.10
  • Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle; main cast 1.02-8.07, 11.01-16.02, recurring 9.01-9.10, 10.01-10.23
  • Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown; main cast 1.01-9.01
  • George Eads as Nick Stokes; main cast 1.01-15.18
  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders; main cast 3.01-16.02, recurring 1.01-2.23
  • Robert David Hall as Al Robbins; main cast 3.01-16.02, recurring 1.06-2.23 
  • Louise Lombard as Sofia Curtis; main cast 7.01-7.24, recurring 5.07-6.24, guest: 8.01, 11.20 
  • Wallace Langham as David Hodges; main cast 8.01-16.02, recurring 3.11-7.24 
  • Lauren Lee Smith as Riley Adams; main cast 9.03-9.24  
  • Liz Vassey as Wendy Simms; main cast 10.01-10.23, recurring 6.06-9.24, guest star 11.02 
  • David Berman as David Phillips; main cast 10.01-16.02, recurring 1.05-9.24 
  • Elisabeth Harnois as Morgan Brody; main cast 12.01-16.02, guest star 11.21
  • Jon Wellner as Henry Andrews; main cast 13.01-16.02, recurring 5.23-12.22
  • Paul Guilfoyle as Jim Brass; main cast 1.01-14.22, guest star 16.01


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, along with CBS' hit franchise Survivor, was instrumental in CBS instantly becoming a major competitor on Thursday nights, as well as becoming the most-watched network on U.S. television. It was announced on that CBS was going to move CSI (from Fridays) and Survivor (from Wednesdays) to Thursday nights starting in February 2001 to challenge NBC's long-standing and popular lineup, which included the hit shows, Friends and Will & Grace. As a result, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the most-watched program on television for the 2002–2003 TV season[2] and has been the most-watched scripted show for five consecutive seasons, from the 2002–2003 season through the 2006–2007 season.

  • Ranked first in the June 2005 Nielsen Ratings with an average viewership of 16 million a night, the show serves as the backbone of CBS' leading Thursday lineup.
  • The 2004–2005 season finale, directed by Quentin Tarantino and entitled "Grave Danger", was watched by over 35 million viewers on May 19 2005, twice that of the nearest competition.[3].

CSI: The ExperienceEdit

The exhibit, CSI: The Experience, immerses guests in hands-on science while leading them through the challenge of solving a crime mystery. The hands-on exhibit brings to life fundamental scientific principles, numerous scientific disciplines, and the most advanced technology and techniques used today by crime scene investigators and forensic scientists. Through hands-on activities featuring real equipment and multimedia presentations, guests will sample the following science fields and understand the significance of each in cracking crimes.

Chicago’s Museum of Science opened an exhibit in CSI's honor on May 25, 2007 called: "CSI: The Experience".[4]

MGM Grand Las Vegas also opened a permanent exhibit called "CSI:The Experience" on September 12, 2009.[5]


  • CSI has often been criticized for the level and gratuitousness of graphic violence, images, and sexual content. The CSI series (along with its spinoff shows) have pushed the boundary of what is considered acceptable viewing for primetime network television.[6] 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 debut.[7][8][9][10], this series being ranked the worst show for family prime-time viewing after the 2002-03 season.[11] The PTC has also targeted certain CSI episodes for its weekly "Worst TV Show of the Week" feature.[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] In addition, the episode "King Baby" aired in February 2005, which the PTC named the most offensive TV show of the week, also led the PTC to start a campaign to file complaints with the FCC with the episode[17]; to date, nearly 13,000 PTC members complained to the FCC about the episode.[18]
  • Another criticism of the show is the depiction of police procedure, which is decidedly lacking in realism.[19] For instance, the show's characters not only investigate crime scenes (as their real-world counterparts would), but they also solve cases, which falls under the responsibility of detectives, not CSI personnel. However, some Detectives are also registered CSI's, although this is exceedingly rare in actual life.
  • Police and District Attorneys in particular dislike the show as it gives members of the public an inaccurate perception of how police solve crimes. 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.[20] For more information, see the article CSI Effect.
  • The LGBT community has criticized the show for its negative representation of LGBT characters.[21] However, as the majority of the non-regular characters in the show are - by the show's very nature - criminals or suspects, it is only natural that all of the aforementioned guest characters are portrayed in a less than positive light. Furthermore, the fifth season episode "Ch-Ch-Changes" was received positively by the transgender community in particular.[22] Furthermore, the season 5 episode "Iced" featured one of very few openly gay characters that was not a victim or criminal, as the victim's neighbour.[23]


See List of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episodes

Awards and nominationsEdit



  • Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-camera Series - 2006
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series - 2003
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Non-Prosthetic) - 2002



  • Outstanding Drama Series -2002, 2003,2004
  • Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series - 2005: Quentin Tarantino-
  • Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series - 2003: Marg Helgenberger
  • Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series – 2001
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Non-Prosthetic) – 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Prosthetic) - 2002, 2003
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series -2001, 2002, 2005, 2006
  • Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series - 2002
  • Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series – 2001, 2004
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Series - 2001
  • Outstanding Single-camera Sound Mixing For A Series – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006-


See alsoEdit


  2. [1]
  3. New York Times, making it one of the most watched shows in history
  4. Stars Spend a Night at the Museum
  5. New CSI Exhibit at MGM Grand Las Vegas
  6. Pro-Family Group Outraged Over CSI "Toy"
  7. Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Primetime Network TV 2001-2002
  8. Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Primetime Network TV 2003-2004
  9. Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Primetime Network TV 2004-2005
  10. Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Primetime Network TV 2005-2006
  11. [ Top 10 Best and Worst Shows on Primetime Network TV 2002-2003
  12. [2]
  13. [3]
  14. [4]
  15. [5]
  16. [6]
  17. [7]
  18. [8]
  19. The Real CSI
  20. 'CSI effect' has juries wanting more evidence
  21. CSI Sensationalizes Transgender Lives
  22. CSI's Mixed Track Record on LGBT Characters
  23. CSI's Mixed Track Record on LGBT Characters

External linksEdit

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