With Ted Danson, CSI May Be Worth Watching Again

I’d checked out of CSI years ago, but the odd choice of Ted Danson to step in as the show’s male lead proved too tempting a proposition to resist last night. Danson has, in recent years, finally escaped the shadow of Sam Malone to craft some amazing characters on cable TV. Of late, we've seen him play a hilarious version of himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm; a corrupt billionaire on Damages (for which he earned an Emmy nomination); and a magazine editor who refuses to quit some bad habits he picked up in the ‘70s on Bored to Death. With that trifecta, Danson had basically inspired me, and plenty of others, to fall in love with him all over again.

But CSI is another animal altogether, cold and logical and seemingly void of a soul, i.e. something Danson could hitch his trailer to. But that’s where the pairing ended up surprising me, and quite pleasantly. Danson plays D.B. Russell, a crunchy investigator from Oregon who's taken over as the CSI team’s night shift investigator. (Because he's from Oregon, he naturally wants to know where the best Las Vegas farmers markets are located.) From what I hear, Laurence Fishburne’s departing character Ray Langston was a dark and tormented soul. Danson, however, is as light and bright as the hair on his head.

But D.B. has an edge, too. Some of the best best moments in Wednesday's season premiere featured Danson opposite series vet George Eads in a series of ghostly recreations in a tram car. Danson swung effortlessly from demanding boss to curious newcomer to empathetic listener to, ultimately, brilliantly deductive criminologist. Before I knew it, something remarkable had occurred: I’d watched an entire episode of CSI, and was ready for another.

There are plenty of people who'd argue that Danson is slumming here. To that I’d say, I’ll take him any way I can get him, and you should, too. You just might wind up enjoying yourself along the way.

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Ted Danson in my opinion belongs in Cheers . William Peterson, Grissom was the best and is Mr CSI. The show was never the same again when he left and also Gary Dourdan, Warwick. The show needs to be serious and does not need a fugitive from Cheers to take on the major part - big mistake!! If you want comedy, then watch it, likewise solving crimes is a serious business which CSI Las Vegas portrayed brilliantly with William Peterson.
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I always watched all CSI shows, but the day Ted Danson showed up, I was waiting for the comedy to begin, and was confused just why he was on that show. He doesn't belong their, and isn't believeable. Even the other actors aren't as believeable. IT seemed last week all they did was read their lines and do nothing else. I got bored and found something else to watch. Sorry
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CSI, back in the day, was my all time favorite show. Not gonna lie, last season just wasn't as good as it used to be. So when I wactched this Season Premiere, my expectations were low, not really expecting much. But wow, I was generally surprised. Ted Danson is a breath of fresh air, seriously. He's really good. I'm starting to love CSI again. Ted just brings everything that Laurence Fishburne couldn't. SO to that I say, welcome Ted Danson! I have a really good feeling this season will be great.
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I watched an entire episode for the first time in about three years. Ted's miles away a better fit than Laurence Fishburne ever was (which is really a slam at the character Laurence was given to play, not Laurence himself). I may not watch all the time, but I'm sure I'll watch a few episodes now and again.
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I think Ted Danson is the shot of caffeine needed to bring this show back to being GREAT! I've watched 2 episodes with Ted's character and he definitely adds a new dimension that was lacking since Grissom left. Lawrence Fishburne was just too dark and brooding and I was SO sick of Haskel. Maybe now the show can be fun again...the potential is there, now if they just can keep it going!



So I say...WELCOME Ted Danson...what took you so long?!
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I agree. It was a nice suprise that he was so good.
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I quit watching CSI since Grissom left, it just hasn't ever been the same, however I may take an episode to see if Danson will make it or break it.
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I actually thought the episode was a bit of a snooze-fest, and paled in comparison to the season opener of CSI:NY.
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I really enjoyed the CSI: NY season premiere, too. Doing a show regarding the 9/11 tenth anniversary was appropriate for the New York CSIs and would have seemed odd to not have one. I cried and got choked up a few times throughout...not just the show but the memories. I am so glad they gave us that and gave the actors/characters that. Thank you CBS.
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I haven't watched CSI for a few seasons now ... even with Grissom still on it was starting to get to dull, and repetitive, and boring ... and when I heard that Fishburne was joining the show I thought it would be the final nail in the coffin ... never liked the guy!

But now with Ted Danson on the show I was tempted to give it another try. I'm a big fan of Danson, I think he's a great actor and I'm in love with every one of his previous roles ... and he stepped up to the plate alright! ... for the first time ever I really enjoyed an episode of CSI, even more than the first few seasons ... his character (or his great portrayal of this character) brought life into the show.

All the other characters have some robotic quality about them, but Russel is so HUMAN! ... A relatable character is what the show needed to go on I think, and I'm looking forward to more great episodes, more about D. B. Russel, and the awful Catherine Willows leaving.
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Laurence Fishburne is a great actor, but his character on CSI was written horribly and was uninteresting. It seems like they've come up with a much better character for Danson, and at least for one episode, he nailed it.
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Ted Danson adds another layer of much needed change to CSI. Of course, anyone after that awful Fishburne would be a plus, but TD nailed it in the season opener. He does a great job, and I'm so glad I can watch this show again. (Couldn't stand LF, and quit watching DURING the first time he was on it; apparently, that was a good choice to make from what others have been saying about him ever since). Now, if they would get that skank "Sara" off the show, it would once again be much more watchable.
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I meant to add before posting that the show will not change much... it'll always be cases of strange murders, with some theme introduced to string it together for a season, and it this case will have to be related to Danson.
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His character is what many characters are becoming in debuts -- a Mulder-like very intuitive but seemingly nerdy person, save that unlike Mulder he's trying to keep the crew together instead of being a renegade. Still, it's nothing new. One thing I will say is that I AM pleased to see Danson in a new role on a popular show, and I think he works a lot better than Fishburne. The show's always been pretty good... I think it will work.
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I think Ted Danson did very well in his debut. Like many longtime viewers I too was skeptical when I heard that Danson would replace Laurence Fishburne on the show. However I was willing to go along with it. I'm glad I decided to.

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I used to be a big fan of CSI, but I haven't watched it in about 4 years. I liked the hiring of Ted Danson, but still didn't plan on watching again. After reading this review, maybe I will watch. Maybe. I. Will.
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He`s a good actor, as Fishburn but he suits better the role than Morpheus xD
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Laurence Fishburne was a disaster, or at least I didn't take to him. He acknowledged that he had never seen CSI before he was offered the part which, to me, said alot. After a few episodes with Fishburne I just quit watching. This one was promising enough that I might pick it up again.
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I didn't expect to like Ted Danson in CSI. He was a very pleasant surprise.
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I totally agree! And last season was the worst, but what did you expect with a season premiere like that (SO BAD!)
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still not convinced

we shall see

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I thought the season opener with Ted Danson was great! I think they have hit a jackpot here, will take some time to shake out the entire cast with the change, but I look for great things to happen to what is still the best of the CSI franchise

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I stopped watching CSI when Larry Fishburne took over for the dearly departed William Petersen. I never cared for Fishburne. To me he is an emotionless actor. I don't think I have ever seen him smile. I watched last night because I like Ted Danson. I wasn't disappointed. The show was excellent.
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@arch angel 88, CSI SHOULD have ended wen Grissom left
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I think that Ted Danson's debut was awesome and love the show!
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meh i'm more shocked at the move from thursdays to wednesdays.... guess what's in it's place, Persons of Interest.
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That means: if Danson cannot revive the ratings, the show will be cancelled.
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Was never a fan of Langston. I just never felt he fit with the cast and his backstory was never fully completed, IMO. I know that bringing in a new character can "shake things up" but I just never got that with Langston even with the huge arc. I was pleasantly surprised with Danson's character. At first DB seems pretty simple but there is more going on. I was impressed by this episode simply because of Danson's entrance into the series. Due to why his character is appearing the show already was having things "shake up" but also the addition of this new character add a lot to work with. Since he's in charge it totally impact the dynamics of everything.
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Three shows that will seemingly never die:

CSI (Should have ended with the departure of Grissom)

American Idol (Should have ended with the departure of Simon)

Survivor (Should have ended the 16th time they brought Russell back)
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Feel free to stop watching. And I bet more people think of Paul Burke when you mention The Naked City than think of James Franciscus or John McIntire. Maybe they should have stopped Gunsmoke after Dennis Weaver left. I'm happy one of the old CSI writers (Elizabeth Devine) is back as a consulting producer. The only thing that get more excited is if Josh Berman or Eli Talbert had come back.
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Based on tonight, I think we can add The Office to this list.
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Touche.
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I've always liked this show, I still do. The departure of Peterson was tough but I liked Langston as well : I think the guy he was after was too weak of a character. During last season, I hoped that the weirdo in the black leather toe-to-head suit would be the next serial-killer of the season (like the glorious miniature killer... great season) and that they would drop the other guy (he was already in the picture during season 10 and11!) but they sticked to him : bad choice.

Let's hope we get back some interesting storylines. And for those who are complaining about the darkness of the show, well it always has been that way. If you want sunny crime scene, watch CSI : Miami (*puking*)
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Now, hopefully, the producers have gotten over the idea that viewers wanted a psychological thriller as the investigators pursued a serial killer. They just don't have a handle on psychological thriller, so it came off melodramatic, and the Mentalist cleaned their clock. Lesson: Who's on Thursday nights now?
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Danson has put a spark back into CSI, it all got too dark and ridiculous but Danson seems to be helping it return to its former glory... and thats after one episode!
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His character is so much better than Lawrence Fishburne's. I am always on the side of don't try and replace lead characters when the actor wants out just stick with the remaining cast. Danson is good though. Going to be sad when Marg Hellenberger leaves though.
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CSI is so dull, even the great Ted Danson can't change that. I'll continue to watch him be hilarious on Bored to Death on HBO.
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At the point that Dansons character pulled out his phone and dialed Nick, I actually found myself screaming "Nooooooooooooo" when the screen faded to black and I realized I wouldn't find out what was going on until next week. Damn...........I"m in!
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uhhmmm did we even watch the same episode? DB sent a text message to the whole crew...akin to a breakfast meeting =)
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Things are not always what they seem.
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CSI is always worth watching now granted I thought that Danson brought something extra to the show
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Been watching since the start and I am just hoping for the best.
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Anything that removes the begrudgery and emo black death unending misery from this show can only be a good thing.



Personally, I thought the only cure for such an ailment was a merciful cancellation. I apparently i was wrong. I knew Ted Danson could act but if he can cure the suicidal melancholy this show emanates(by the bucket-load), he's an even better actor than even I gave credit for.
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