‘CSI’ Once Featured One of the Star’s Daughters in Recurring Role

by Taylor Cunningham

Ted wasn’t the only Danson to star in the original CSI series. His daughter Kate also appeared on the show for three episodes.

During seasons 13 and 14, CSI called upon Kate Danson to play attorney Jill McDermott. Jill was a hardcore lawyer who put her clients first and constantly fought with her father’s character, D.B. Russell.

For her debut episode titled Sheltered, Jill defends a man believed to be a serial killer. The suspect in question lived in an underground bunker. And Jill ended up getting him released because Russell and the rest of the CSI team illegally searched his home.

And the deed ended up serving him well because it turned out that the man was innocent.

Kate’s remaining two episodes followed the same type of story. Her character knew that seemingly guilty suspects were in fact innocent. And she wasn’t afraid to fight with the Crime Scene Investigation team to prove it.

Following her first appearance in 2013, Kate Danson talk to WENN.

“I play a lawyer who knows she’s in the right and the CSI team [has] done something wrong,” she said before mentioning how much fun she had while fighting with Ted Danson on-screen.

“I come pretty hard at my dad and dig into him, which was a lot of fun to play,” she continued. “…It was really great going head-to-head with him.” 

How Real Life Events Inspired ‘CSI’

Here’s a fun fact: The OJ Simpson trial was the inspiration behind CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

In 1995, the former NFL player was found innocent of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her boyfriend, Ronald Goldman, even though he appeared guilty.

As producer Johnathan Littman told Deadline in October 2021, people lost faith in the justice system after that case. And most believed that anyone could get away with murder as long as they had “the right lawyer.”

So Littman wanted to educate Americans on the truth of the justice system.

“We came on and said, ‘No. if you have the right science, I don’t care who your lawyer is. The science will prove it if you are guilty.'”

“It was where we had just learned the words DNA, blood drops, these terms had just come into our lexicon when it came to a trial,” he also said.

So Johnathan Littman built his series around those new advancements—to prove that science would help serve justice. And the show did help people regain faith in the system. With that, the series became so popular that it turned into an entire prime-time franchise with three spinoffs and, of course, a CSI revival called CSI: Vegas.