CSI: NY: Why Add A New Actor After Ditching Another Due To Budget Cuts?

This interview is fairly old, but I'll talk about it anyway because it poses a pretty interesting question. Emmanuelle Vaugier was killed off on the CSI: NY season finale because of budget cuts, she says, so why hire Sarah Carter to play a new character? Budget cuts, then get someone else? Slightly confusing.

Executive producer Pam Veasey talked to TV Guide Magazine a week back and, per her explanation, things were a little more complicated. "There are a lot of things that changed since [Vaugier was let go] because we cut our whole budget," she said. "There was a huge budget cut with actors and salaries and writers, but ultimately, after we'd done that, what do we still need? We still needed the 18-25 demographic, and we'd been trying to get that with guest stars. And it was our plan to kill someone on our season finale. We chose her character because of what effect it has on another character. It was good storytelling."

Okay, that got me slightly confused. Their budget gets cut, but to pursue a segment of the audience, they hire someone else and kill someone off. I don't know if I got that right.

Anyway, she also revealed a bit about Carter's new character, which I still believe is not the Kaye Sullivan character they're introducing in the coming season. Besides, Carter's character is a clean-up technician with a secret to boot. "When you first meet her she doesn't have a job with us," Veasey said. "She's an eager CSI wannabe, who insinuates herself into our lives, and because of her brilliance and her wit and her charm she sort of becomes part of the system. She not a CSI and it doesn't happen right away."

That new character gets in because of CSI: NY's need to address that segment of their audience--translator mode: the 18-25s. "Since the CSI franchise has started a lot of universities have expanded their forensics departments and a lot of students have gone into that, so our question is, what if people have graduated since then?" Veasey said. "They're textbook, they're not cops. All of our team are cops or went to medical school and they had other jobs that brought them in. This is someone who's only been a textbook learner. There's a whole bunch of forensic graduates coming out and they're young people--how do these people get their first job. That's our angle on the new character."

Hrm. Maybe it's a convoluted justification for all those movements on the show lately. But I'll agree, Angell's death was a good story that waits to be told. Speaking of which, Flack will just work it all off...

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