Big Shakeups! Ted Danson’s Arrival! Marg Helgenberger’s Exit! 5 Things We Learned From CSI’s TCA Panel

Ted Danson isn’t doing CSI for the money!
Unlike many actors, whose poor financial wheelings and dealings have forced them to return to Network Primetime (Or worse, a cable reality TV series), Danson’s return to CSI has absolutely nothing to do with the dinero. In fact, not only did he jokingly point out that he can trace his interest in the environment over his guilt from his CHEERS money, he just really just loves this job. “I love going to work I’m so happy to hang with this cast of people and I love going to work,” said Danson when asked to elaborate on his motivation for returning to a Network television drama. “The crew is brilliant, the writing is wonderful and to be able to step into this world is a joy and I’m so blessed.”

Danson’s character is a breath of fresh air
“12 seasons is a lot of seasons for any show and we really started with asking how do we excited our writers and cast,” explain Carol Mendelsohn on why Ted Danson. “From CSI’s very beginnings it was, here comes the nerd squad, but what about someone who has come in who has actually figured it out. A wife that calls, kids that are an important part of his life, what would that be like?” Elaborated co-executive producer Don McGill, “CSI is this team of superstars, passionate about what we do, about justice and getting to the truth but passion can sometimes lead you astray and what is interesting, is that Ted’s character is this guy who grew up with counter-culture parents on a commune, travelled around in a van, he wasn’t just home schooled he was van schooled. Which gives him perspective on life that maybe is a little bit different.”

Expect Big Shake Ups
One person who might not be nearly excited on Danson’s arrival, is Marg Helgenberger’s Catherine Willows. “The Langston departure has had a long reach and there is certainly fall out in both the premiere and in the following episode,” revealed Mendelsohn. “It has shaken things up in CSI, moved things around, moved Marg around and Nick’s fetal pig around a little.”

Marg Helgenberger has Trouble Letting Go!
Unlike last season, which was supposed to be Helgenberger’s last, this season really will serve as Catherine’s swan song. So why the day? Well, according to Helgenberger, or as we’re going to refer to her as from here on in — the ultimate team player — it all came down to a conversation with executive producer Carol Mendhelson who convinced her it would be better for both the fans and the writers if they could wrap up her character’s story during the first half of the season. Plus, according to Helgenberger, she’s had a hard time letting go of the character that has been such a big part of her life.

Ted Danson has a background in crime scene investigations. Well, sort of!
With apologies in advance for raining on the parade of the many talk shows and interviews Ted Danson will inevitably be sharing this story with in the coming weeks, the former CHEERS bartender actually has his own history with crime scenes. Turns out, his father was an archaeologist in the Southwest and when he was 11, he was out playing in the woods with some friends when they came across a skull.. which he promptly stuck on a stick and traipsed around the woods with. Needless to say, Danson’s father was none to pleased when the young man recounted the story, insisting on searching the area for the skull to no results. Cut to five years later, when a friend of his found the skull, which after getting published in the newspaper, helped to identify the bones.

CSI returns to TV with new episodes at 9PM on Wednesday September 21st at 10PM on CBS (CTV in Canada) Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free at