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Uncovering CSI Las Vegas, Miami and New York

Updated on September 18, 2012

Back in 2000 when CBS Productions and Jerry Bruckheimer created CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI: Las Vegas), they probably didn't predict that the series would take off to such a degree, or that two spin-off series would be created from the original.

The original Las Vegas series is still running some 12 years later, and has just been renewed for its 13th season.

All three shows have highlighted appearances from a number of celebrities over the years, and given a few of their careers a much needed boost, including the likes of: Nelly Furdardo, Sean Young and Taylor Swift.

Close to 74 million viewers watched CSI in 2009 alone, and it was named the most watched show in the world for the 5th time in 2012.


Which is your favourite CSI show?

See results

Did You Know?

  • There was almost a CSI: Toronto created
  • The Who sing the theme songs in all 3 show introductions
  • Marg Helgenberger, Jorja Fox and George Eads all appeared on the same show, ER in different episodes before joining CSI
  • Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows are loosely based on real-life LVMPD criminalists Daniel Holstein and Yolanda McCrery
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was the highest rated new show in 2000-2001

CSI Las Vegas

The original of the 3 CSI TV shows, CSI: Las Vegas revolves around a group of highly skilled police forensic evidence investigation experts, as they work together on the field and in their state-of-the-art lab, complete with all the latest gadgets of modern technology to try to solve crimes in and around Las Vegas.


William Peterson played the lead role of Gil Grissom, the show's protagonist up until Season 9. Extremely articulate and not an easy character to figure out, viewers were delighted by the budding romance that developed between himself and another CSI - Sara Sidel (played by Jorja Fox).

Gil left the show at the end of Season 9, and was replaced by Lawrence Fishburne (from The Matrix fame), playing Dr. Raymond Langston - a qualified Medical Doctor and CSI Level 2 who specialized in Forensic Pathology. Langston left the show at the end of Season 11 after a dramatic finale that left viewers questioning his true character.

Catherine Willows (who left the series during Season 12), and Nick Stokes - played by Marg Helgenberger and George Eades are two firm viewer favourites. Catherine often referred to Nick as "Nicky" in the show, and although at times it seemed as though these two would hit it off (the show had originally written a scene with them making out in a parking lot, but this was later canned), Catherine's interests lay in fellow CSI, Warrick Brown (played by Gary Dourdan). After a brief flirtation between the two, Warrick got married and was suddenly killed off the show soon thereafter.

Elizabeth Shue and Ted Danson teamed up from Season 12 to head up the CSI Las Vegas department in place of Catherine and Langstone.


Who is your favourite CSI character out of all 3 shows?

See results

CSI Miami

Probably the most popular of the CSI trilogy series, CSI: Miami centres around a group of efficient and charismatic Crime Scene Investigators of the Miami-Dade in Florida.

Created in 2002, just two short years after CSI: Las Vegas was launched, the show was cancelled after its 10th season this year - the first of the trilogy to be canned.

Most of the scenes in CSI: Miami weren't filmed in Florida at all, and were filmed on location in Long Beach and Santa Monica in California.


Horatio Caine played by David Caruso, with his dark sunglasses and cheesy one-liners is one of the main reasons for the popularity of this show.

Horatio comes across as a no-nonsense Lieutenant, but underneath his hard exterior there are brief moments where viewers are treated to his more gentler approaches, and his revengeful side when he takes on child molesters and abusers.

His fellow CSI team members, Calleigh Duquesne and Eric Delko (played by Emily Procter and Adam Rodriguez) slowly become his confidants and this team work together to try and solve some of Miami's most gruesome and hideous crimes.

Natalia Boa Vista and Ryan Wolfe played by Eva La Rue and Jonathan Togo complete the CSI Miami team of investigators.


CSI:NY Trivia

  • Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta were both offered the lead role
  • The only one of the CSI shows not to win an Emmy
  • Many of the tests that take seconds in the show often take days or even weeks in real life
  • Hill Harper and Anna Belknap had previously worked together in The Handler
  • While filming on location, an actual dead body was found in the same apartment building, a few floors down
  • Horses like Officer Blue are given names to honor fallen officers

CSI New York

The last of the CSI trilogy, CSI:NY was created and aired in 2004. Set in downtown New York City, this group of NYPD forensic scientists along with the help of the police officers track down some of the city's most calculating criminals and attempt to uncover horrendous and suspicious acts of violence and other crimes in and around the city.

Only a few of the scenes are shot within New York itself, with the majority of scenes being shot in Los Angeles, California.


The NYC Crime Lab is head up by Detective Mac Taylor, played by Gary Sinise. Mac is another lead character who doesn't show much emotion, except on rare occasions or when he is talking about his wife, Clare who died in the 9/11 attacks.

He works together with the aide of Detective Stella Bonasera, played by Melina Kanakaredes until she leaves the show at the end of Season 6 and is replaced by Sela Ward - filling the role of Detective Jo Danville.

Love finds Detectives Danny Messer and Lindsay Monroe, who didn't particularly like each other at the start of the show, but end up falling in love, getting married and having a daughter, Lucy Messer together.

Detective Don Flack played by Eddie Cahill and Detective Doctor Sheldon Hawkes played by Hill Harper complete the team of New York CSI team.

The Author

Melanie Chisnall is a freelance writer from Cape Town, South Africa.

A self confessed CSI series addict, she is currently enjoying catching up on CSI: New York from Season 1. Her favourite CSI character of all time is Catherine from CSI: Las Vegas.


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    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks PaisleeGal - Glad you enjoyed it! :)

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      5 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Good article. Enjoyed reading the facts and bio of the two of my favorite shows. Never cared for the Miami version though. Thanks for all the details.

      Voted up!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Sharkye11 - Totally agree with you, things weren't the same after Grissom left - especially when Ray joined the cast. And now that Catherine has also left, I doubt I'll be watching it anymore. Glad you enjoyed the hub, thanks for your comment! :)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting hub about one of my favorite shows! I was a die-hard CSI LV fan from the first episode. All I had then was a crummy television way out in the country that only picked up one channel, but it took a lot of acrobatics to get the antennae to work. Every Thursday we would start trying to tune in an hour early so we wouldn't miss the show.

      Later when I got cable, I finally got to see all of the episodes without static! I never could get into CSI Miami, and I am just now getting into NY. But the first is still my favorite. I miss the original cast though, even though my favorite character was actually Hodges, and I think he is still around. It just wasn't the same after Grissom left, and the later seasons had a little bit too much unbelievable character drama, rather than focusing on crime-solving.

      Voting this up!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks newusedcarssacram! :) I was enjoying CSI NY until a few weeks ago. I'm still catching up, and haven't caught up to where Stella leaves the show. There's still a bit of interest, so hopefully it doesn't lose the plot and get canned like CSI Miami.

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Michelle! It's such a pity because the show was so good in the beginning. I couldn't miss a single episode. And now I can't really be bothered. Maybe they should just scrap all 3 and come up with a new CSI...maybe in another city with new faces, possibly bringing in a few of the well-known ones as guest stars. They need to spice it up, and fast! Thanks for commenting! :)

    • newusedcarssacram profile image


      6 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      CSI NY is a wonderful show. It is my personal favorite show and watched every episode of it. You shared a nice hub on CSI. thanks!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Like every good show, interest peters out slightly when ideas start running out. I am a CSI fan, actually, but, like you and Cogerson, lost a bit of interest when the other seasons were not as good. For a better CSI! Thanks for this! Sharing!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Cogerson - Your comment made me realize exactly why I also started losing interest with CSI:LV recently, and it's a pity because I think Ted Danson and Elizabeth Shue are awesome! It's for THAT reason - the whole Ray/Nate Haskell story line. I didn't enjoy it and thought it didn't really fit in with what CSI normally comes up with. If they brought back Grissom, that would be GREAT! My favourite was Catherine, so I'm not too sure what Season 13 is going to hold, let's hope it's a lot better than the last few! Thanks for your comment! :)

    • Cogerson profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      I have seen every episode from Season 1 thorough Season 10....and most of Season 11 of CSI Vegas. But I finally stopped watching when Season 12 started....which is weird because I have been in love with Elisabeth Shue since I was a teenager and I like Ted Danson as well. It might have been the Ray/Nate Haskell did not play out very well and left me sour on the series......I think to get me back.....all they have to do is bring back Grissom for Africa or wherever he is searching for I have never watched the other two shows....not a single episode....I felt I should stay loyal to the original and best series.

      Thanks for bringing back some memories....lots of hours of my life are invested in that series.....I saw the commercial for the Season 13 opener and thought maybe on DVD in a year or so.....sorry if my comment went off on a rant...voted up and interesting.

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Joyce - I'm with you on the CSI New York option! A few years ago I never watched this series because compared to CSI LV and CSI Miami it was a bit boring. Now that CSI Miami is cancelled and I'm not really watching LV, I can't get enough of NY. I haven't caught up to when Stella leaves yet, and I hope Sela Ward keeps me interested enough to keep watching afterwards!

      Thanks for reading and your comment - have a brilliant day!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Phil - I'm also so far behind in some of them, especially CSI Miami. I'd love to just take a day over the weekend and have a CSI marathon, maybe rent a couple of DVD box sets from the local DVD store.

      Thanks for your comment and votes!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Alecia - I'm with you on the CSI Las Vegas casting scrambles....I used to be hooked on this show, but now I watch it if and when there's time. Catherine was also my favourite character, so there isn't much reason for me to watch anymore. I have just discovered CSI NY - never watched it before, and am now watching from Season 1 and I love it! Gary Sinise is awesome!

      Thanks for your comment - have a fantastic day!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      We watch CSI L.V. our favorite and CSI New York these in our opinion

      are the best ones. I never did like CSI Maimi. Now the L.A. version is just okay.

      You have a great hub for these shows.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Great coverage of each of the different ones. I watched the original for a little bit in the first year or so, but soon after lost my TV subscription so didn't catch the others. Great job, voted up and interesting.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      You did a quite thorough job explaining each franchise. I read the bio of the creator of the series- Anthony Zuiker and it was so interesting how he thought of this and how it came to be.

      My original favorite was CSI Las Vegas but after about the fourth season it got old and the casting scramble always frustrates me. I now like CSI NY even though it is probably the most procedural of the series.

      Great hub!


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