The 14th season of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which premieres Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c on CBS, picks up just seconds after the May season finale, when the team realizes that Morgan Brody (Elisabeth Harnois) and Ellie Brass (Teal Redmann) have been kidnapped by the same ritualistic serial killer, who is posing his victims as one of the Deadly Sins.
“When we come back, we will be hunting for Morgan and Ellie,” says executive producer Don McGill. “It becomes a story of two fathers and two daughters — Brass [Paul Guilfoyle] and his daughter, who is in jeopardy, and Ecklie [Marc Vann] and his daughter, who is in jeopardy. The whole team has to pull together. It’s some pretty explosive stuff.”
Returning as guest stars on the episode will be: Eric Roberts as Brother David Larson, James Callis as writer John Merchiston, Tim Matheson as Oliver Tate, and Annabella Sciorra as Nancy Brass.
“All those same players come back to play in the season premiere and not everybody will walk out alive,” McGill says. Then he adds, “We are trying not to have a Red Wedding.”
But that is just the beginning of the danger that the CSIs will find themselves in. In this exclusive interview with McGill, xfinityTV got the inside scoop on Season 14. Here are five things you will want to know:
1. The CSIs and their families are in jeopardy. Last season, D.B. Russell’s (Ted Danson) granddaughter was kidnapped and safely rescued by the CSIs, but what the episode demonstrated was that it is not just the crime solvers who can be in jeopardy but also their families.
“One of the great themes of ‘CSI,’ especially from the beginning, is that the workplace is family,” McGill tells xfinityTV. “The CSIs really are a family, especially since Ted Danson joined the cast. He brought this whole stable, family man vibe to the team. It just seemed a natural extension that we would exploit that side of things, where people who devote their whole lives to crime solving and their families often pay a price.
“[In the premiere], there are some surprises and people won’t see it coming. What I can say is someone in the CSI family will pay a price. Last year, we rescued Ted’s granddaughter and everything was hunky-dory. This year, things won’t be so neatly tied up. Someone is going to die.”
Then later in the season, there will be an episode centered around the women of “CSI,” who will journey to a world, where their lives are in jeopardy, and they will have to save themselves.
“I don’t know how else to put it,” McGill says. “It is kind of like Thelma and Louise and Thelma.”
2. “CSI” will celebrate its 300th episode this season. For the 300th episode, airing Wednesday, Oct. 23, Marg Helgenberger returns as Catherine Willows to help solve a cold case that has haunted the team for 14 years. They will investigate a homicide in the home of a reclusive former casino mogul, who was a suspect in a similar crime in 2000.
“Episode 300 will be a fun journey back to the beginning of the show,” McGill says. “The theme for the season is back to the beginning, so in many of the episodes, we are going back to the roots of “CSI” — harkening back to the way the show was in those first seasons. Not that we have ever departed from it fully. Episode 300 will have a case that is a current case in 2013, which is reminiscent of something that happened at the beginning of the show in Season 1, so for the cast members who have been there since the beginning, it will be a second chance possibly to get justice with someone who has been a nemesis from the beginning.”
3. Nick Stokes [George Eads] is going to go missing in action for several episodes this season. Nick is going to appear in the first three episodes of the season, but then his character will go MIA. It was earlier reported that Eads got into an argument with a pregnant writer on the series and has taken a leave of absence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nick’s absence will be explained when Catherine Willows handpicks him to receive some specialized training at Quantico.
A representative for Eads issued the following statement to the trade publication: “George will definitely be returning to the show and looks forward to participating once again in something he has passionately been a part of for 14 years. He has nothing but the greatest respect for the creative and professional choices of the producers and writers that are behind ‘CSI.’”
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4. Weddings and divorces. It looks as if Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) and Gil Grissom (William Petersen) may be headed for a divorce. Any chance he will return this season to deal with that?
“Sara and Grissom decided to take a timeout in their relationship,” McGill says. “It is not necessarily a divorce. That’s really where we left it. I don’t know if we will be revisiting that at the beginning of the season. Certainly, there are undertones of Sara dealing with the fallout of her relationship. Right now, we don’t anticipate Billy coming back, but you never know.”
When Hodges (Wallace Langham) came back from Italy, he got engaged to his Italian bombshell girlfriend, Elisabetta (Catrinel Marlon). Any chance they will be getting married this season?
“There will be fireworks in their relationship. Whether or not there is a wedding, I can’t be sure,” McGill says.
5. How Ted Danson has helped revitalized the show. In the history of “CSI,” — William Petersen as Gil Grissom and Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Raymond Langston — the CSIs were always amazing at their jobs but struggled with their personal lives. Now, with Ted Danson as D.B. Russell, there is actually a character who has a stable marriage, a family and can still do the job.
“What Ted brought to the show was a sense of completion to the team,” McGill says. “He provided this great leader, a father figure, a stable presence. On the show and on the team, I think from the first day, he really fit right in. And, as a person, there is no nicer man in Hollywood that I have met. He is the most generous actor. He has crafted a really interesting character. He makes a great team leader, but he is not a team leader who eclipses the other players in our cast.”
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” returns for its 14th season on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m./9c on CBS.