The new CSI investigations are back

In the US and as in the rest of the world there has always been (and always will be) a great interest in TV series with a police background. For as long as we can remember, there are many shows that have told of police officers, detectives and special teams who have used any means possible to ensure the criminal to justice and to safeguard public order. There are many examples. From Law & Order a NYPD, gives The Wire as far as Criminal Minds. But one in particular marked a real turning point with regard to crime series. We’re talking about the investigation team of CSI, acronym for Crime Scene Investigation.

The first episode aired in America in September 2000, but arrives in Italy a year later to become a much loved series in our country too. Of CSI 15 seasons plus a final TV film were produced, for a total of 337 episodes. At the moment the old episodes are not available on any of the many paid streaming services. Over the course of time, three spin-offs have been made and now also one sequel, which brings the historical characters of the franchise back to the small screen in a new TV series. With the title of CSI: Las Vegas, Gil Grissoim and his team are returning to fight crime. After years of rumor and speculation, the project has become a reality. Aired in America since last September, from January 9 the ten episodes of the first season sleep in prime time on Rai Due. But what’s behind the great success of CSI? Just a lot of luck.

Gil Grisson and his team on the hunt for assassins in Las Vegas, thus CSI was born

In a city like Las Vegas, sprawling, full of light and shadow, one moves team of forensic investigators who solve the most complicated and heinous crimes by examining the crime scene inch by inch. Led by the charismatic Gil Grisson (William Petersen), an expert hematologist, in his original training, at his side is Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenbereg), single mother but very devoted to work; Jim (Paul Guifoyle), experienced detective, Warrik Brown (Gary Dourdan), a boy with a difficult past and Nick Strokes (George Eads), a lonely man but upright at work. Each episode is a case to be solved and each week the stakes are higher and higher. But in the team of CSI we are not just talking about killers and serial killers, there is also room for couple bonds, disputes at work, and personal problems.

The series has seen the entry and exit of many characters over the course of its 15 seasons. Gil Grissom himself, for example, left CSI after 9 seasons to return then only in the final TV film (and now in the sequel); Warrik left the scene tragically, others like Sara Sidle (Jorja fox) remained in the cast until the end, only to appear sporadically between seasons 13 and 14. Choices that did not affect the audience. Indeed, even if in the span of 15 years the series has had its ups and downs, it has always remained at the top, confirming itself as one of the crime drama most viewed on TV and more in step with the times.

The TV series that nobody wanted to produce then became a mass phenomenon

Per CSI it was not easy to get on tv and in prime time on the CBS network. Developed by Anthony Zuiker in the 1990s, the first script was not intended to become a TV series but a film. It was producer Jerry Bruckheimer who grasped the potential, pitching the script to various networks. But no one believed in the project. Having remained in mothballs for more than five years, in April 1999 it was the CBS network (which usually only broadcasts cops) that wanted to invest time and money on CSI.

The leaders of the network, however, believed that they had in their hands a product that was too strong for theirs target reference and, aware of a failure, have planned CSI on a Friday evening. An unsuitable day to broadcast a TV series. At the time it was included in the schedule alongside the The fugitive. The first was canceled for low ratings, CSI instead it convinced everyone, becoming one of the most viewed programs on the net. Everything else is already history.

From Las Vegas to Miami, passing through New York and cybercrime

A success which has been unstoppable and has gone through a period of great changes on American television. She survived the strike of the 2007 scriptwriters, al decline in consensus after the seventh year of broadcasting, and has outlived the many clones who were born in that period. Furthermore, it was the only one that had three long-lived and successful spin-offs. In 2002, after Las Vegas, the public met the Miami team led by the affable Horatio Cane. 10 seasons of this series have been produced.

At the same time it was also born CSI: New York. Twilight and eye-catching, the series delved into crimes in the Big Apple. Here are nine seasons produced. It is more recent CSI: Cyber. The only one that only aired for 31 episodes. Set in Virginia, the team that was led by a beaming Patricia Arquette was primarily concerned with solving cybercrime. The ratings, however, were not exciting and the series was canceled.

And then the sequel that sees the return of the historical faces of CSI

And with a view to rediscovering the great cults of the past, too CSi is back on TV in a new form and for new investigations under the Las Vegas sky. In practice, the sequel that was ordered in September 2020 (which went into production in the summer of 2021 due to Covid), brings back to the scene Gil Grisson and Sara Sidle (now also united in the private sector) and a new steam of experts ready to move through the streets of the city and to solve new heinous crimes. Getting CSI back on TV was almost a need, because, despite the passage of time, the fans of the series have never stopped hoping for a return of their favorites. A 10-episode first season will be followed by a second one. Obviously, the series is already available in Italy, on Rai Due, every Sunday, with one episode a week.

“Buried alive”, the episode directed by Quentin Tarantino

There are many emotions that he gave to the public team of CSI. Over time there have been several special episodes that have left their mark. Like the one written and directed by Quentin Tarantino during the fifth season, entitled “Buried alive”. In which the whole team was busy finding Nick Strokes, who was kidnapped by a killer who locked him in a only alive. Among the many it is impossible not to mention “The sex of the angels”, the hundredth episode of the show. Or the mega crossover that saw Gil Grissom interact with the Miami and New York department to solve an intricate case of crime and corruption.

A success in Italy for five million viewers

As we all know, CSI in Italy it was a real phenomenon. Arrived on Italia Uno in 2001, she collected great audience ratings. The first season, for example, was seen by nearly 5 million viewers (not counting reruns). But that is not all. Because the success has gone far beyond America and far beyond our country. Sold in Spain, France, Germany and 200 other countries, CSI has reached peaks of shares never seen before. For example, in Germany it was the most viewed import series on RTL for years, totaling 6 million viewers per episode.

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