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'CSI' 300th episode: Marg Helgenberger set to return

CBS’ long-running forensic-sleuth series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will celebrate its 300th episode with the return of original star Marg Helgenberger.

Helgenberger, who played cucumber-cool-but-caring forensic scientist Catherine Willows to boss Gil Grissom (William Petersen)’s über-rational approach, will help the team solve a cold case that has evaded them for more than a decade.

According to CBS, in the special episode we’ll see the team investigating a homicide that occurred at the home of a former casino mogul, who was also suspected of an all-too-similar crime that happened 14 years ago.

Helgenberger appeared on the show for a 12-season run, garnering Golden Globe and Emmy noms for her portrayal of Willows. Her last episode, “Willows in the Wind,” aired Jan. 25, 2012.

The 300th episode will air Wednesday, Oct. 23.

'Arrow,' 'CSI,' 'Revolution,' 'Once Upon a Time': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

We’ve got a busy weekend ahead here at EW. Not only is there a lot of good TV but we’re also hosting the CapeTown Film Festival in L.A., so I’ll be there periodically this weekend. If you’re in the L.A. area, stop by and say hello.

Now that I’ve opened myself up to possible stalkers, on to business!

Notice: Spoiler Room will return to it’s regularly scheduled Wednesday timeslot next week. And as usual, send all questions to!


'CSI' renewed; Ted Danson to return

CBS has renewed CSI and closed a new deal with Ted Danson to continue starring in the drama for its 14th season.

Elisabeth Shue and original cast members George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Paul Guilfoyle and Robert David Hall, along with Wallace Langham, Elisabeth Harnois, David Berman and John Wellner will also return in the fall.

CSI is synonymous with CBS, and we are so proud of the series’ creative and commercial legacy and its continued success on our Network,” said Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment president in a statement. “The writers and producers have done an amazing job evolving CSI, reinventing the show around an incredible leading man in Ted Danson, the acclaimed Elisabeth Shue, and our beloved and talented core of original cast members.”

This year, CSI has routinely won its time period in viewers (11.8 million), adults 18-49 (2.9/8) and adults 25-54 (3.8/9).

'CSI': Elisabeth Shue previews Finlay's past, hot chemistry with 'Cougar Town' guest star

After several bodies are unearthed in the middle of the desert on tonight’s CSI, Finlay (Elisabeth Shue) is going to be forced to unearth her past.

And as Shue previews, this trip down memory lane, which finds Finlay traveling to to retrace the steps of the case that got her fired from her old job, could land the passionate investigator in some hot water. “It was good to finally explain what got her fired and to also show what gets her in trouble. She sometimes gets too passionate about things and oversteps her boundaries — but she’s usually right [to do so],” says Shue. “[She has] a child-like need to go out there and throw herself into things without knowing the consequences — and when she knows, she doesn’t care.”

No one knows these flaws better than Finn’s ex-husband, played by Cougar Town‘s Brian Van Holt, with whom Finn still shares a deep connection. “I loved that she has a past relation Seattle ship with her ex husband that’s not entirely resolved,” says Shue. “She wants to fall in love so desperately — and had fallen in love with somebody — but yet her personality isn’t quite stable enough to keep a relationship in her life.”

Ted Danson, Gary Sinise doing 'CSI' crossover


The CSI team is going to the Big Apple.

CBS is planning CSI and CSI: NY cross-over episodes for February sweeps.

Across two hours, Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) will visit the CSI team in Las Vegas, while D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) will head to New York City.

CSI will kick things off on Wednesday, Feb. 6, with Taylor arriving in Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend but learns she is missing. With her hotel room now a crime scene, he joins forces with Russell and his Vegas team in an effort to find her. The action continues on Friday, Feb. 8 on CSI: NY, where, according to the network, “the search for Mac’s girlfriend continues as Russell heads to New York to help Taylor, but even after apprehending one of the men responsible for Christine’s kidnapping, they still need to determine the motive and whether she is still alive. The case gets personal for Taylor as he wrestles with breaking police protocol in an effort to find the kidnappers.”

The strategy is the latest in a series of CBS crossovers, such as last season’s NCIS: LA crossover with Hawaii Five-0. Previously CSI had a crossover where then-star Laurence Fishburne appeared on all three of the franchise’s shows.

'Private Practice,' 'CSI,' 'Nikita,' 'The Good Wife': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

My greatest hope is that this bountiful scoop report brings you a fraction of the joy I feel when scrolling through this Channing Tatum birthday gallery, which now has a place in my bookmarks toolbar under the word “happiness.”

My sad single life aside, if you see any show missing from here that you’d like some scoop on, shoot me a note at! I’ll try to work it in next time.


'CSI' scoop: 'Frasier' alum to play Ted Danson's wife

A former star of Frasier will join CSI for a multi-episode arc as Ted Danson’s wife.

EW has learned that Peri Gilpin will play Allison, the wife of D.B. Russell (Danson). She was born into a well-to-do and well-established family, and according to the official description: “She grew up in a world of sailboats and stables and society pages. The apple of her banker father’s eye, Allison could have had any suitor she wanted. But always rebellious, she chose to turn her back on privilege, marrying the iconoclastic criminalist, D.B. Russell. She is the keeper of the hearth at home with an easy way about her that belies an iron will. She is the intellectual equal of her brilliant husband, the one woman who doesn’t just rule his heart, but rules his life.”

Gilpin will debut on May 9. Her most recent TV appearances include spots on Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Desperate Housewives. She starred on Frasier from 1993 to 2004.

Read more:
‘CSI: New York’ star injured in car crash

'CSI' scoop: Look who's returning (and has surprising killer ties!) -- EXCLUSIVE

Without a Trace alum Enrique Murciano is dusting off his gun for a multi-episode arc on CSI, EW has learned, but it’s what brings him back to Vegas that might surprise you.

Viewers first met Det. Carlos Moreno (Murciano) back in season 10, when he helped the gang out on a case involving a dead police officer. This time, he’s hoping to help repair the broken legacy of his deceased stepfather…Det. Sam Vega!

Vega (Geoffrey Rivas) was killed earlier this season after it was revealed he’d turned into a vigilante cop of sorts, killing suspects who had escaped justice in cold cases. He was shot and killed during his attempt to claim another victim. Moreno’s connection to Vega will be revealed when he returns to help on a case involving a criminal sent to jail on Vega’s watch.

Bonus scoop: We may see some sparks fly between him and one of the ladies on the team!

What do you think of Murciano’s return and the twist, readers?

Follow @EWSandraG

'The River' actor jumps to 'CSI' for guest role -- EXCLUSIVE

An actor from an ABC drama will jump over to CBS on March 14 to heat up the action on CSI.

EW can report exclusively that Paul Blackthorne (The River, Lipstick Jungle) will guest-star as Tom, a pompous, slick, and charismatic college professor who teaches a popular class on the nature of celebrity. But a protegé of his who employs some questionable methods to operate his own gossipy video blog ends up dead. Tom ends up defending his methods to investigators, but makes no apologies at the same time.

Blackthorne currently plays a TV producer named Clark Quietly on ABC’s freshman suspense The River.

He guest-starred on CSI: Miami in 2010.

'CSI' ratings up for Elisabeth Shue debut; 'Survivor' drops

On Wednesday night, the premiere of CBS’ Survivor: One World faced Fox’s American Idol, while Elisabeth Shue joined the cast of CSI.

A two-hour Idol (18.6 million viewers, 6.0 adults 18-49 rating) won the night and was unfazed by the added reality competition from Survivor. Idol matched Monday’s episode of NBC’s The Voice and will likely edge higher in the national ratings this afternoon.

CBS was second with Survivor (10.7 million, 3.0) dipping 6 percent from last spring’s premiere. The durable long-running reality hit slips pretty much every cycle and this is a mild decline compared to some previous years. Still, last night marked the lowest-rated Survivor premiere ever.

Criminal Minds (11.8 million, 3.0) was down 9 percent. Despite having lower-rated lead-in this week, CSI (11.1 million, 2.7) climbed 8 percent for Shue’s first episode. That’s a potentially good sign. READ FULL STORY

'Touch' preview ratings solid, 'American Idol' slips

Fox’s series premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch had a promising preview Wednesday night, but the second week of American Idol slipped.

Touch opened to 11.9 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the adult demo, while its lead-in, Idol, had 19.5 million viewers and a 6.4 rating — down 14 percent from last week’s two-hour season premiere (though only down about 7 percent from last week’s 8 p.m. hour).

Touch marks the highest retention (on a percentage basis) of a drama debuting after Idol, and is the second-biggest premiere for a new drama this season. Also keep in mind Glee once delivered a somewhat unspectacular rating in its post-Idol preview, then eventually became a hit for the network. Touch doesn’t officially premiere until March. READ FULL STORY

Marg Helgenberger on shooting her final 'CSI' episode, airing tonight: 'Really intense'

Goodbye, Catherine!

In preparation for Marg Helgenberger’s last episode of CSI — airing tonight on CBS — EW talked to the 53-year-old actress about becoming the third original star (behind Gary Dourdan and William Petersen) to depart the long-running crime drama, as well as what she’ll miss, and whether she’ll ever come back.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You say goodbye to the other members of the CSI team in the last scene of your final episode. Was that by design?
MARG HELGENBERGER  Yeah. I had asked for that to be the last scene ’cause I knew it was gonna be a really intense scene and I just didn’t want to play it before anything else. I don’t know if pressure is the right word, but I felt like a big bubble over my head, like, “This is an important day in my life.” It’s been such an incredible journey. I just wanted to make sure that…I said the right things.

How did you think it went?
I was really happy with the way it went. I mean, the scene, I had tweaked it. They had written it, but I tweaked it and they were okay with that. They said, “Really, whatever you want to say.”  My boyfriend said several times, “That was just really, really special.”  I mean, I knew that I was probably not gonna feel that kind o’ love. I mean, who knows? I hope to have another experience like that in my career, but that was a rare experience to end [my time on] the show that I still have enormous love for and respect for and pride and all of that. It was great. It was beautiful. It was really beautiful. Every time I’ve like thought about that day and leaving, I well up. Jorja Fox had written this card for me with a polar bear on it — a photograph of a polar bear. What she said in the card was so beautiful about how I’m an endangered species and blah, blah, blah. It was just so moving. So I just feel so blessed to have had this experience all these years.


'CSI' says goodbye to Marg Helgenberger -- EXCLUSIVE

CSI on Wednesday bid an emotional farewell to star Marg Helgenberger, the latest original cast member to leave the long-running crime show on CBS. Cast and crew members — including series creator Anthony E. Zuiker and Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn — packed the show’s set on the Universal City, Calif. lot to hear Helgenberger say goodbye after wrapping her 263rd episode as Catherine Willows. (The episode will air Jan. 25)

“I’ve been thinking a lot about this moment for a very long time,” began Helgenberger, who went on to reminisce about the show’s humble beginnings in 2000 and its becoming the worldwide phenomenon it is today. READ FULL STORY


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