‘CSI’: What Happened When Sharon Osbourne Guest-Starred on Show

by Allison Hambrick

CSI saw many familiar faces guest star over its 16 seasons, so it’s normal to forget a few. However, rock and roll legend Sharon Osbourne is anything but forgettable.

Wife of rockstar Ozzy Osbourne, her presence on television has been a constant for the past two decades. She served as a judge on both America’s Got Talent and The X Factor. From starring on reality show The Osbournes to co-hosting The Talk, Osbourne is a jack of many trades. So many, in fact, that she can add actress to her resume.

Osbourne appeared on CSI in the season 15 episode “Dead Rails.” This episode saw the team investigating a series of murders at a pool hall. Each victim was participating in a tournament, leading the team to believe the competition was being rigged. Enter Sharon Osbourne.

Osbourne’s character was the owner of the pool hall where the murders occurred. As a result, she is suspect number one. An interesting twist in the episode reveals that one victim was attacked twice. First, they were buried alive. Then they were hit by a car. By the end of the episode, the culprit is revealed to be a rival pool hall owner. Of course, that doesn’t make Osbourne’s character wholly innocent. The episode takes a deep dive into the seedy world of gambling.

These sort of stories are not uncommon for CSI. In fact, the show’s premise makes it uniquely able to adapt more or less any story. Because its lead characters are forensic investigators, they are less limited to a particular type of crime. So while Law & Order focused primarily on homicide, CSI covers a broad range.

How a Documentary Inspired CSI

Though the circumstances surrounding the cases were fictional, many were influenced by real-life crimes. Additionally, the show itself is based on a true-crime series. Running from 1996 to 2000, The New Detectives focused on the role that forensic sciences played in solving crimes. The show aired in the UK before going into syndication on the Discovery Channel.

Like many true crime shows, The New Detectives utilized actors to reenact the cases. Interestingly, the show also sat down the detectives and scientists who solved the crimes. Their insights are the key focus of the show.

CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker saw The New Detectives and saw an opportunity to explore a side of crime that was less focused on. After all, the forensic scientists and medical examiners on similar shows ere often treated as background characters. His idea paid off; CSI became wildly successful. The show ran for 15 years, and it won six Emmy Awards. Additionally, it produced four spinoff shows: CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, CSI: Cyber, and CSI: Vegas.