Archive for CSI

CBS Announces May Sweep plans

Don’t get me wrong. I have every faith in the writers of “CSI” and “Two and a Half Men,” but swapping writers for a May sweep stunt has me a little concerned.

Grissom (William Petersen) always had a little raunchy Charlie in him, but can Charlie and Alan really figure out a whodunit when they can’t even find their way through a stunted life? Should be interesting when we tun in on May 5 for “Two and a Half Men” to discover CSI investigating a murder at Charlie Harper’s Malibu home.

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A CSI team investigates a mysterious death at Charlie’s (Charlie Sheen) and Alan’s (Jon Cryer) house on “Two and a Half Men” at 9 p.m. May 5 on CBS. Conchata Ferrell stars as Berta. Photo: Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.

And on the May 10 episode of “CSI,” Grissom and the team solve the mysterious death of a diva sitcom star.

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Grissom (William Petersen, right) and David Phillips (David Berman, left) become involved in the world of Hollywood comedy when a diva sitcom star (Katey Sagal, on floor) meets an untimely demise with a rubber chicken while filming her show in Las Vegas, on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” at 9 p.m. May 8 on CBS. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

The following are CBS’s May sweep season highlights and finales. Read the rest of this entry »

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“CSI:NY” Gets a Second Life

Get ready to either be thrilled, or totally ticked, by this week’s episode of “CSI: NY.”

Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) enters the computer-based virtual world of “Second Life,” where the team tracks down a killer in both the real and cyber world. For those who haven’t experienced this, Second Life provides a gateway into fantasy lives on the computer where alter-egos known as an avatars interact.

Your virtual counterpart is generally much better looking than your reality.

In the course of the episode, Mac discovers a woman has been murdered and the suspect probably has something to do with her Second Life. So Mac gets schooled before crashing into cyberland to track down the killer. The narrative device gives viewers unfamiliar with this world a primer on how it all works.

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GARY SINISE GOES CYBER

Down the rabbit hole he goes, and drags the viewers with him. But if you are expecting a pay-off at the end of the episode, you’ll be disappointed. The show ends with a cliff-hanger that is supposed to entice you into the Second Life world to try to suss out the answer for yourself.

“CSI” creator Anthony E. Zuiker says “CSI”’s virtual world opens for business that night. Viewers will be instructed to go on the internet, log on to the site and create their own avatar. Zuiker’s avatar, which he says will be “much handsomer, much thinner” than he really is, will be waiting to greet you.

We think people might not want to be forced into taking that journey just to find out whodunit.

“Television, ma’am, is changing,” Zuiker said during a conference call last week. “(We) take chances on other platforms. The quest was to write a great episode in the First Life and then a deeper experience that would have a life span beyond that.”

Zuiker says the victim _ meaning in the show and not the luckless viewer who doesn’t want to become an avatar _ was like Paris Hilton in her virtual life. So the crack CSI team suits up like an avatar to go into their world. Now you can be part of that crack team.

“Once you enter, there are three different levels of game play,” Zuiker says. “This continues through Feb. 6 when the episode concludes (on TV), but we’ll continue (the world after the murder is resolved.)”

Zuiker thinks that people will embrace this new CSI Second Life world. The levels include beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Beginners can be hand-held through the experience with a few games. In intermediate, you can try to solve a “Murder by Zuiker” where you can look at evidence and try to match Zuiker’s interpretation of how the murder went down. If you can find the hidden clue, you can then get a Second Life URL known as a SLURL.

This, of course, is about the time my mind started checking out.

The gist of the top level is that you get to join the Murder of the Month club, go to the lab, talk to suspects and be a virtual CSI, which is a dramatic interpretation of a real CSI. So I guess it’s kind of three-degrees of separation CSI.

”You can be whomever you want, whatever you want in this world,” Zuiker says. “The future of television is community. The days of being entertained by one device has changed.”

This is bad news for people who just like the tube so they can veg at the end of a long day.

Here’s a CBS/ YouTube peek at the episode:

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Behind the CSI Scenes with Joey

James Logan High School grad Joey Gaytan looked like the kind of guy you might not want to meet in a dark alley.

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But after having a nice conversation with Joey last week, I knew it was all just an act. The Union City native says he’s living the Hollywood dream.

“It’s like winning the lottery, but I encourage anyone who has a dream of coming to Hollywood to do it,” says Joey, who turned 29 on Sunday. “People would say I was too short, or too fat, or just not cool enough. But look at me now.”

Joey, who got his first big break in 2005 when he won the reality series, “Wanted: Ted or Alive” hosted by rock legend Ted Nugent, says being cast on a top-rated show like “CSI: Miami” was exciting.

And he wants you to share in that excitement, so he posted a video on My Space which shows you what it was like, from his trailer to the stage.

I was going to embed the video, but since it contains language my company might not approve of, I decided to just give you the link instead.

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Name Dropping

So my friend Dave Walker at the New Orleans Time Picayune was a little shocked last week to discover that his name was dropped on “Private Practice” - as a man with a drinking problem.

TV writers love using TV critics’ names as characters. My first encounter was a “Law & Order” episode in which Susan Young was riding with her boyfriend when he committed a hit-and-run.

Sweet.

When I was checking out YouTube, there was a clip from “CSI:NY” from last Dec. when my name was used as a murder victim:

It’s all done in fun. But couldn’t I just once be the gorgeous blond that someone like Sawyer has been lusting for?

Well, you’ve seen my picture. I guess not.

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CBS additions

Want to know who’s who when your CBS shows come back this month? We also discover that there is life after “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for one actor.

Here’s a quick rundown from the network:

CRIMINAL MINDS Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT

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Emmy Award nominee JOE MANTEGNA will join the cast of CRIMINAL MINDS starring as FBI Special Agent David Rossi, an original member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit who took early retirement to go on lecture and book tours, and has volunteered to return to the unit.

Mantegna is scheduled to make his first appearance in the sixth episode of the season.

“We are all THRILLED to have Joe Mantegna joining our family. He’s an incredible actor, a genuinely nice person and, as a fellow Chicagoan, I can tell you he makes fantastic Italian Beef sandwiches and Chicago Style Hot Dogs,” said Executive Producer Ed Bernero.

And the reliable actor isn’t likely to skip out on the show like Mandy Patinkin.

CSI: NY Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT

A.J. BUCKLEY will become a series regular after recurring for two seasons as Adam Ross, a CSI Tech guru out of Seattle. Specializing in Computer Forensics, Ross is the go-to scientist for the latest technological applications needed to solve crimes in Manhattan.

“He was hired by Mac Taylor to stay ‘one step ahead’ of the criminals in New York City, who often use more complicated technology than the average crime lab in the country. Therefore, Ross is the X-factor in crime solving and necessary ‘ringer’ to fight the most complex and sophisticated crimes,” said Anthony E. Zuiker, Creator and Executive Producer of the CSI Franchise.

GHOST WHISPERER Fridays, 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT

JAY MOHR will become a series regular, playing Professor Payne who provides an encyclopedic knowledge of the spirit world, as well as genuine concern for Melinda’s (Jennifer Love Hewitt) safety as she puts herself in ever greater danger to protect those she cares about — even though he hides his concern behind an ever-present irreverent sense of humor.

“We’re thrilled to have Jay as a series regular this year. He’s a terrific actor who is fun to work with for the same reasons he’s fun to watch: he brings humor, energy, creativity and spontaneity to the set and to his role. He also brings sports commentary and sometimes donuts,” says Executive Producer P.K. Simonds.

SHARK Sundays, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT

KEVIN ALEJANDRO joins the cast as Sebastian’s (James Woods) newest team member Danny Reyes, an edgy and aggressive young deputy district attorney who earned his stripes in the Organized Crime Unit.

“Kevin Alejandro is an incredibly dynamic and intelligent actor who brings great energy and attitude to the legal team,” says Executive Producer/Creator Ian Biederman. “Danny plays by his own rules — which both endears him to Sebastian and creates great conflict.”

NEW RECURRING CAST MEMBERS:

SHARK Sundays, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT

KEVIN POLLAK joins the series in the recurring role of brash and cunning newly elected District Attorney Leo Cutler.

“Kevin Pollak is a superb actor who infuses the role of Leo Cutler with wit and a moral ambiguity that is a perfect fit for the show. Leo’s an outstanding foil for Sebastian and the team,” says Executive Producer/Creator Ian Biederman.

WITHOUT A TRACE Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT

Golden Globe nominee HENRY THOMAS (“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Gangs of New York”) will join the series in a recurring role as Jack’s (Anthony LaPaglia) evil nemesis, and the leader of a human trafficking group who the FBI team is pursuing.

GUEST STARS:

CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION Thursdays, 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT

JESSICA LUCAS (“The Covenant,” “The L Word”) is set to guest star in four episodes of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION beginning Thursday, Oct. 11. She plays the role of Veronica Lake, aka “Ronnie,” a young, overzealous new CSI in training, who is extremely bright, albeit naïve. After graduating from one of the top criminalistics programs in the country, she was offered positions at numerous crime labs, but chose Vegas due to its increase in crime rates. Now that she’s entered the throws of solving real crimes, she’s about to find out that in searching for the perpetrator of a crime, she could easily become his next victim.

WITHOUT A TRACE Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT

JAMES MARSTERS (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) will guest star in a five episode arc beginning with the season premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27. He will play Grant Mars, a detective who helps Vivian (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) with an unsolved case.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT Mondays, 9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT

Golden Globe nominee HEATHER LOCKLEAR (“Spin City”) will guest star in two episodes later this season as Barbara, the sister of Audrey (Megyn Price) who comes to town to visit. During her stay, Barbara announces that her marriage, which Audrey has always idealized, may be over. While Audrey has a difficult time dealing with the news, she is even more surprised to learn that her sister has agreed to go on a date with Russell (David Spade).

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