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Still Hope for 'CSI'?

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  January 26, 2009 12:09 PM

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Last week, in the first episode since William Petersen’s departure, “CSI” had a fairly weak week, ratings wise -- still No. 1 for the night, but lower than average. On the other hand, “CSI” had a pretty strong week, quality wise, and I hope viewers will hang in there. Even though it's in its ninth season, which is way too long past the freshness date for most TV series, "CSI" still has potential left. The premise -- Sin City under a microscope -- is still fascinating.

I loved the character of Gil Grissom, but the other big reason to watch has always been the cool (and gross) science, of which there was plenty last week. The "CSI" writers have known how to keep the evidence and mircro-fiber fixations really interesting over the years. I still feel a sense of discovery during "CSI," and a sense of surprise, both of which have long been missing from that other network warhorse, "Law & Order."

Also, the rest of the "CSI" ensemble, especially Marg Helgenberger, is not so shabby. (Here's my loving ode to Marg.) Laurence Fishburne may turn out to be complex and restrained, based on his first post-Grissom hour. Maybe not. Robert David Hall (below) is still a kick, and so is the always hardboiled Paul Guilfoyle as Det. Brass. But now that Petersen is gone, the writers will have to keep bringing on their best, and I'm th nking (hoping) they will.

Are planning to stay with the post-Grissom "CSI"?

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15 comments so far...
  1. I will give it a chance...change inevitably comes to TV shows. While it may be in its farewell season, look how "ER" has endured the death of Mark Green and the departures of Carter, Benton, Hathway, Ross etc.

    Posted by Lou from CT January 26, 09 12:07 PM
  1. I have not yet seen last week's episode (dvr'd it) but I am planning on watching it soon. I will give the show the benefit of the doubt (at least for the remainder of the season). I do like Fishburne as Petersen's replacement.

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield January 26, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Of course!

    Posted by anon January 26, 09 01:08 PM
  1. CSI Las Vegas is the best. You can have your CSI Miami and CSI NY. Just like life, some interesting and not so interesting characters come in and out of the show, but life and the show will go on. It's the only show I watch every week. Grissom will be back, just like Jorga Fox.

    Posted by zippy January 26, 09 01:55 PM
  1. I can't stand Laurence Fishburne. I almost rather have Flavor Flav take over.

    Posted by steven January 26, 09 02:12 PM
  1. Grissom was my favorite tv character of all time. I am not sure that without him, CSI won't just be another police procedural.... I'll watch it if I am around, but I am not sure I'll schedule my evening around it anymore.

    Posted by Diamond January 26, 09 02:48 PM
  1. Of course! Plenty of talent there, even with three biggies gone. I do already miss Jorja, Billy and Gary, but hey -- people change and move on and I *have always* loved the rest of the cast as well. Plus, it is hands-down, the best written show on television. So smart!

    Posted by EMR January 26, 09 04:20 PM
  1. As long as Paul Guilfoyle is still on the show, I'm sticking around. Love Brass! Don't miss Grissom at all. Uncle Fish brings some much needed freshness to the show. As for the ratings, while this episode didn't draw the huge ratings of last week, it still fared better than the Tippi Hedren episode (with Grissom) and probably a few episodes from the last couple of seasons.

    Posted by JoVie January 26, 09 06:45 PM
  1. Thought it was a very good episode. And the more Det. Brass, the better.

    Posted by HJ January 27, 09 02:31 PM
  1. Naw. Grissom was the major point of the series, complex and interesting. New "professor" so far is boring.

    Posted by Maxx January 28, 09 05:26 AM
  1. Of course I'll be watching. As far as it being "fairly weak" ratings wise, I disagree. There are shows that would kill to get the kind of ratings CSI does weekly. It was down from the final two with Grissom, but that was expected. I really get sick of hearing about the magic demographic. CSI won the night Grey's won the demographic. Hunh?
    Anyway, I agree that the content was far from weak. It's a great show with a great ensemble cast (which is what Petersen wanted in the first place), and I think it will survive. Love Fishburne and the way they didn't make him automatically the expert.
    Nick, Greg, Catherine, & Brass are all characters that help to make the show great.

    Posted by DB January 28, 09 08:59 AM
  1. I think we can see from the previous episode with Fishburne in that he has a real desire to catch the crook. He's having a little bit of a hard time getting to grip with his new career, but he's won over Hodges already...that's gotta count for something. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Fishburne's character in the coming episodes.

    Posted by SyCo January 29, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Considering i've been watching this show just for Catherine, i will definatelly stick around.

    Posted by Dan T February 16, 09 12:00 AM
  1. I've been watching but I'm not enjoying it as much. It's lost too much in too short a time, with Grissom a major loss. But also I think it has run its course. The show doesn't suprise anymore. I've been pretty bored with it the past few weeks so i think i must be going.

    It was a hell of a ride. Loved it.

    Posted by SD February 16, 09 07:48 AM
  1. CSI' magic is in the interplay of the elements -- people & place. Grissom was at the center, how he interacted w/ the people & their various pathos' illuminated his & their characters. His relationships with Sidle and Willows both matured well and were realistic. Marge H. was credible as the illegitmate-daughter-of-casino-boss-&-ex-pole-dancer-with-a-bum-exhub-trying-to-go-straight, but not as a kick-ass-leader-of-the-team - Jorja F. was always the real 'hot-babe' that they dumbed-down, Fishburne's coming on the right-way, moving into the dynamic and establishing his personal credibility & leadership. Last episode was riveting, Nick was great.

    Posted by Rich March 7, 09 01:46 PM

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