With eight seasons under its belt, “CSI: NY” is shaking things up in Season 9 with special episodes in November sweeps that take us home with team members on their days off, and in an episode, airing Friday night, featuring music from Green Day to narrate the dialogue-free action sequences.
“This year, we are doing the unexpected. We are taking the characters to an unexpected place in their personal lives and the stories to an unexpected place,” executive producer Pam Veasey told xfinityTV in an exclusive interview.
She has kept that promise — and Friday night’s “Unspoken” episode, which features less dialogue than usual — hence the title — lets the music tell a big part of the story. “Unspoken” features five songs — four of them world premieres — “Stop When The Red Lights Flash,” “Amy,” “Night Life,” “The Forgotten” and “Kill The DJ” from the recently released Green Day ¡UNO!, and the upcoming albums Green Day ¡DOS! and Green Day ¡TRÉ!.
“I already had the idea about what I wanted to write about,” says Veasey. “I didn’t know when I started writing which band. I was listening to music, but I had ideas about the scenes and how I wanted the story to unfold. Then I met with Amy Osler of CBS Studios, who deals with all our music. I said to her, ‘I want to do a show where we don’t have a lot of dialogue, where music drives it and I want one band.’”
That band turned out to be Green Day and the results speak for themselves. But there is also a case to be solved as the CSIs race to catch a shooter after Lindsay (Anna Belknap) is injured during the attempted murder of a political candidate (guest star Neal McDonough).
Here is what else Veasey has to say about the Friday night episode and what we can look forward to in November sweeps:
My favorite beat of the “Unspoken” storyline is the fact that a drawing made by Lindsay’s daughter changed her fate.
The shooter’s weakness is children. He has what I call a dual heart. One that is filled with rage from the accusation that propels him forward to do such a stupid thing; and another where he feels he is standing up for children. That is his weakness; his soft spot, which is why it tears him up to find out that a little girl was shot with the gun he threw into the dumpster.
But the story seemed to have a bigger message: How the small things we do can have big repercussions.
Absolutely. Every scene was about that. It was in dropping the gun in the trash bin, the picture on Lindsay’s lap, it was Mac (Gary Sinise) dealing with his own problem with aphasia, it was the senator who didn’t keep track of something. The small things you don’t pay attention to, or do pay attention to. It was a chain of events. It wasn’t in their face threatening them, so they didn’t think a step further of the consequences.
Can you talk about how Mac’s aphasia storyline is going to play out? Will he tell Christine? Try to tough it out himself?
He is dealing with it, obviously, after getting shot last year. We brought him back and he looked healthy at the end of the episode because we didn’t know whether we would be returning, or that would be the finale of our series. We wanted an uplifting visual of our family together. It is really a beautiful freeze frame at the end of that episode last year.
But this year, we are so pleased and thankful to return, we decided we would let Mac live with a little of an aftermath of being shot in the back. We decided to start this aphasia story. He is who he is. Mac struggles with his own weaknesses. He doesn’t like to share them. He thinks he can overcome them so he is struggling doing this alone, despite the advice he gets from everyone. He will keep it secret for a while, then he expands to sharing it. Others will know it and then he will recover.
We have started seeing more personal time in the lives of our CSIs — Lindsay and Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) at the event where she is injured, Jo (Sela Ward) with her long-distance boyfriend (Peter Horton), Mac and Christine (Megan Dodds). How do you feel that is working for you? Will that continue?
To be honest, those are just little snippets of the real thing we are doing. The first episode that shows really going home is Episode 5 and it is a story that centers around Eddie Cahill’s character Don Flack. When we say going home, every character has a day off and you spend time with them on their day off. I think the audience will really respond because you get to learn things about them, see what happens to them, and what they do on their days off. There is one for Sid (Robert Joy) and Adam (AJ Buckley) and everybody.
We hinted at it with Jo and a past relationship in Episode 3 and Mac and Christine. We have a lot of Danny and Lindsay this year doing things that parents do on their off hours. But the bigger stories you will see going forward after Episode 5. Big chunks, where we really take time to spend with a character.
But there is still a case of the week?
Always. That is what we do.
Will the case tie in to what they are doing?
No, it is like two stories. It is an organic way to leave that case. We put a little mystery into their story so it is not that you watch them do their laundry, like I do on my day off. We give a little mystery; we make it intriguing. We want the audience to go, “Am I thinking what I am thinking?” There is a bit of mystery even in the personal stories that we leave the crime stories for.
What do you have coming up for November sweeps?
We spent a lot of time in New York, so in those episodes you will see that we were in Yankee Stadium, we were on the High Line in New York City, we were in Central Park at Turtle Pond and Belvedere Castle, and the Odeon Café. We were all over New York City. Shows five through eight are filled with great New York stories at iconic New York places.
Any guest stars coming up?
We have no guest stars coming up. We just finished Peter Horton. He may or may not come back along with Sydney Park, who played Jo’s adopted daughter. We have great visuals and great New York stories. Other than doing the family story, the day off story with our team, we wanted to go back to some iconic visuals of New York, which is why we end up in all these places.
Any chance that you will be back for Season 10?
Did you just ask that?
It seems to be going well this season.
I know, doesn’t it? We are back in our 9 p.m. slot and we did tremendously well. We will do what we always do. We will write this season. They will either tell us we are complete or not. We will plan a season-ender that will bring some closure and satisfaction if we should not return, but also leave the window of opportunity if we should return. We don’t write our season as if we are ending. We go into it as if it is forever. We are pretty experienced at living on the bubble.