One of the world’s most popular television franchises, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation burst on to American screens in 2000 and has been going strong ever since.
And now it has a new home at TV1.
The original series has spawned spin-offs CSI: Miami and CSI:NY and has had an influence on the rash of crime investigation-themed shows like Bones, NCIS, Cold Case and Without A Trace.
The first season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation starred William Petersen as Las Vegas CSI night supervisor Dr Gil Grissom and Marg Helgenberger as his sassy and instinctive assistant Catherine Willows.
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who has hit on a winner for his crime-themed shows – big music, cinematic style and slick police procedurals – CSI starts with the violent crime, the motive (as discovered by the CSI team), then the perps caught by the end of the episode. It’s a formula that has been blamed for what police and law enforcement professionals have dubbed “The CSI Effect” – people have an appetite like never before for information about forensic science and also have an unrealistic expectation of what the discipline can deliver. In particular, it has been noticed in the United States, United Kingdom and here in Australia that jurors are influenced by television shows like CSI and have an over-inflated sense of their understanding of forensic procedures.
Criticism aside, CSI has had a huge influence on television culture. The CBS show has been in the top twenty programs in the United States since it started over 12 years ago. And for fast-paced, slick entertainment it’s hard to go past this series.
The show’s popularity has meant some big names have attached themselves to the franchise – Laurence Fishburne, Elisabeth Shue and Ted Danson now star in the latest series.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 1 starts on TV1 on Friday, April 13 at 8.30pm.