Just when I think we've heard enough about the developments on CSI over the past week--Jorja Fox arriving for five episodes, and Lauren Lee Smith leaving entirely--then comes more. Maybe you've already heard some of these things, but I shall point your attention to this article's title, somewhere up there. Yeah, exactly.
Executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar talked to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, and discussed a little bit more about Sara Sidle's return to the Las Vegas lab for the tenth season of the crime drama. And, well, it does clear a few things up. Minor spoilers are up ahead, so if you don't want them, then stay away.
The first thing they clarified is that Fox's return is not a reaction to slumping ratings--it wasn't much of a decrease, considering it was a very tumultuous year for CSI last year, but it's still a decrease. "It actually emanated from Naren and I," Mendelsohn said. "It's a tough time for everybody in TV. We don't feel [it's fair] to single out CSI."
"We had several major characters departing over the last year and a half, and it felt like the family had disintegrated a little bit," Shankar added. "That suggested a theme for this season, which is really about family. We wanted to restore that balance of the family. And that initial creative impulse led to the notion of Jorja coming back and helping to assist with that."
The tenth season begins two and a half months from the events of the ninth season finale--the one where Langston finally kills someone--and sees Sara entering because, as we already know, the Las Vegas lab needs an extra pair of hands. "One of our characters reaches out to her and brings her back in, unbeknownst to the other guys," Shankar said.
"Sara comes in and brings everyone together," Mendelsohn added. "She helps Catherine understand that as the [new] leader, she needs to make the team cohesive and really fire on all cylinders again."
And, of course, her return for five non-consecutive episodes would dabble on what's happened to her and to Grissom since the events of seasons past. "They absolutely ended up together," Shankar stressed. "Grissom is referenced in [Fox's first] episode. You'll get a sense of the good and the bad of the two of them actually being together for real. [We're] talking about a couple of very independent individuals who have decided to share their life together."
"And you have to admit that Sara and Grissom had a unique courtship," Mendelsohn added. "It [makes sense] that their further relationship would also be unique." In other words, they did not break up.
Perhaps most importantly, they're tight-lipped about whether William Petersen will reprise his Grissom role at any point in this season. "The theme of the season is family," Mendelsohn said. "And he certainly is part of the family--a big part of the family ... We're certainly open to [his return[, but no, there are no concrete plans."