‘CSI’ HITS IT’S 200TH EPISODE
March 26, 2009
by Jay Bobbin
Two hundred cases is a lot for any real-life sleuth, much less television’s top fictional forensics team.
In a ninth season that has seen considerable change in the Las Vegas lab, CBS’ perennially high-rated “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” marks its 200th episode Thursday, April 2. The tale’s significance is indicated by its director: Oscar winner William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”), back for his second stint behind the “CSI” cameras.
Now the team’s night-shift supervisor, Catherine Willows (founding series co-star Marg Helgenberger) works with Dr. Raymond Langston (recent cast addition Laurence Fishburne) when the death of one of his former students appears linked to Mexican wrestling – another unusual wrinkle for a show that prides itself on them.
“I think there are 75 shows in television history that have reached that milestone,” Helgenberger says. “We had a barn-burner of a party, lemme tell ya. It literally was an hour off from shooting; some speeches were made, then it was, ‘OK! Time’s up! Back to work!’ We hadn’t even cut the cake. I said, ‘Wait a minute! We need to have this symbolic gesture.’ Even if we didn’t eat the thing.”
Helgenberger maintains director Friedkin “absolutely” changed things up for the “CSI” regulars. “He likes to play loose with the script, and it’s a completely different way of directing the show. It’s always fun for the actors to have the ability to play with the words, but I think it’s frustrating for the writers. They put a lot of time and effort into the science, so one has to be a little bit careful.”