Thursday, June 03, 2010

CSI In It's Final Years?....Another CSI Actor Out

Like many long running TV dramas, CSI has become something of a revolving door for actors in the last few years. Now, word has come down that the contract for actress Liz Vassey hasn't been renewed by the show's producers.

Vassey played lab worker Wendy Simms in the series. She had a brewing script romance with fellow lab worker David Hodges, who played the role as a bit of a nerd, who falls in love with the brainy pretty girl at work. The romance line was sort of sweet, and gives inspiration to the nerds of the world that they can get the girl of their dreams with some effort on their part. It was sort of like CSI's own drama version of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

Reportedly, the show is also planning to go in another new direction for the 11th season by the producers. That might mean some cost cutting measures such as trimming some actors. The ratings have been lower in recent years for the show, down from a high water mark of 26.2 million average viewers to just 15.8 million this season. These numbers are worse than the opening season with more than 17 million viewers per episode average. But, CSI deserves high praise for constantly attempting new things with each outing. However, since William Peterson disappeared as a regular on the show, the show has been missing his highly intellectual patter and dry humor.

Peterson added a certain intellectual appeal to the show that is sorely missed. Although Laurence Fishburne is a very fine actor, his character simply lacks that dry wit that Peterson often employed. That mix of the murder mystery and dry wit reminded me slightly of what the old British TV series, THE AVENGERS, had going for it. Both CSI and THE AVENGERS combined those elements into very entertaining murder mystery tales. And both shows managed to add enough odd comic quirks to what could have unfortunately been a routine murder mystery show. Both shows were more cerebral sorts of entertainment.
William Peterson will be back as Gil Grissom for a movie version of the show that's in the works, though. This should allow the show a little more artistic freedom than allowed by CBS censors who are ever wary of censorship morons like the Parent's Television Council who keep a close eye on the show and have orchestrated at least 15,000 generated complaints over the years against the show to the FCC. Groups like the PTC view the show as one of the worst on TV, regardless of the fact that audiences love it and it has numerous TV awards.

But with ebbing ratings, CSI might only have about two or three more seasons left in it's run before it's hit with a cancellation order by CBS. Other once proud CBS crime dramas like WITHOUT A TRACE and COLD CASE have gone that route. But, the producers of the show and the actors probably want to see CSI spin a few more classic episodes before it hits the end of the road in TV history.


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