HomeSectionsEntertainmentIf Gil Grissom isn't on CSI, what is the point?

If Gil Grissom isn’t on CSI, what is the point?

Question: While I was happy to see CSI return, a lot of that had to do with the callbacks to the original series and cast, most notably the essential ingredient of William Petersen as Gil Grissom and his interplay with Jorja Fox as Sara. But now it’s being reported that when the show returns later this year, it will be without Gil (and Sara is only a maybe), so what’s the point? The original CSI went downhill pretty fast after he left. —Carrie T

Matt Roush: True, this takes some of the juice out of the renewal, but the original CSI managed to carry on for another six seasons after Petersen left during the ninth — with occasional guest appearances, which could be an option here as well, I suppose. We recently quoted the CSI: Vegas showrunner Jason Tracey insisting, “There’s always a seat at the table for Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle,” while pointing out that this comeback season was always intended as a close-ended story, and Petersen had only committed to appearing in these episodes. Much like Harmon’s Gibbs on NCIS, Gil’s and Petersen’s influence will likely continue to be felt even with his absence, but any time he appears it makes CSI a better, quirkier, and more memorable show. That said, I enjoyed this season-long story arc and am encouraged to hear that the show won’t entirely return to a case-of-the-week format upon its return.

To submit questions to TV Critic Matt Roush, go to: tvinsider.com

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