‘CSI: Las Vegas’ Star William Petersen Explained Why Network Was ‘Tough’ on Original ‘CSI’ in Early Days

by Megan Molseed

When the detectives on the popular CBS series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” went to work to solve a murder, they weren’t knocking on doors, following leads, or conducting witness interviews. Sure, each episode of the popular CBS series did present a sort of traditional “murder-mystery” plot; but the “CSI” team took a more technical approach to their crime-solving.

The “CSI” teams didn’t solve crimes in the same ways that the traditional investigative procedurals would. Instead, the team relied on a variety of scientific methods. The team focused on analyzing physical evidence to find answers to all of the questions. And, we’re sure that these same techniques are going to be used in the new “CSI” addition, “CSI: Las Vegas.”

The original “CSI” series followed a group of Las Vegas Criminologists. These experts put their investigative skills to work using forensic science techniques.

Some of these techniques made sense to the average viewer. However, others were way out there, often shocking the audiences of the popular show.

Each week, the “CSI” investigators employ techniques such as studying maggots found on victims to determine the time of death.

Many of the techniques the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” characters employ were always unique. But it was always important to the show’s creators that they be realistic.

“CSI” Makes Effort To Follow Procedure

“They were really tough on us all the way from the pilot through several episodes,” said former “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” star, William Petersen.

Petersen, who stars in the upcoming “CSI” revival, “CSI: Las Vegas” added that once the show found the incredible success it was known for so early on, the producers went a little easier on the show.

“When the show finally aired and found a broad audience (early), all of a sudden, they were like, ‘Yeah, go ahead! Dig up those bodies!'” the actor joked.

William Petersen was one of the wildly popular investigative drama’s original cast. The longtime actor portrayed the head of the “CSI” crime lab, Gil Grissom for the first nine seasons of the show’s run.

Petersen Returns With “CSI” Revival: “CSI: Las Vegas”

While Petersen did exit the show in 2010, he did return for the popular show’s two-part season finale which aired in September 2015.

Last spring, “CSI” creators announced the return of the popular show as “CSI: Las Vegas” is set to premiere on CBS in October. The series will star “CSI” alums, William Petersen, Jorja Fox, and Wallace Langham will reprise their roles in the drama. “CSI: Las Vegas” will also welcome new “CSI” regulars, Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mel Rodriguez, and Mandeep Dhillon.

Other “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” spin-offs created over the years were “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” “CSI: Cyber.”