“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s” season finale proved that even though the procedural drama has been on the air for 12 seasons, it’s still got what it takes to surprise viewers. The kidnapping of D.B. Russell’s (Ted Danson) granddaughter Kaitlyn (Mia Hayes) and the resignation of Nick Stokes (George Eads) set such dramatic — and unforeseen — events in motion that the audience will be compelled to tune in for 13th season premiere to get answers.
“Last season was so much about bringing the CSI family back together under DB Russell,” says executive producer Don McGill in an exclusive interview with XfinityTV.com. “I think this season will be about exploring all the tensions and maybe pulling the CSI family apart a little bit.”
But there is a lot more going on — and McGill and executive producer Carol Mendelsohn gave us the inside scoop on what to look forward to when the new season kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 26 on CBS. Here are five things you need to know:
Where does the story pick up?: When the show premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 26, it will pick up one second after the finale, where we left Russell staring out the window wondering what happened to his granddaughter. When we return, he is not nearly as Zen as the man we have come to know in the lab.
“It is a pretty exciting episode,” says McGill. “We will see him with a gun in his hand for the first time. We will see this man of science, wisdom and rationality pushed to the edge — kind of like ‘Cape Fear’ — all to get his granddaughter back.”
Preview the Season 13 Premiere of “CSI”:
Will the kidnapping be resolved in the first episode?: In the premiere, the CSI team is on a hunt to find Kaitlyn, but former Undersheriff McKeen (Conor O’Farrell) threatens Russell, saying, “You get me my money back and you get your granddaughter back.”
“It isn’t resolved at all,” McGill says. “The fact that McKeen literally reached into DB Russell’s house and plucked out his granddaughter and, basically, tore his family apart won’t be put back together so easily. We will see DB Russell’s wife [Peri Gilpin reprising her role as Barbara Russell], we will see his son [Brandon W. Jones as Charlie Russell] and we may see his daughter [Brooke Nevin as Maya] again. But there are some fences that need to be mended because Russell’s wife never really intended to have Kaitlyn come home.”
Is anyone else in jeopardy?: Russell’s family may not be the only ones in jeopardy. In the premiere, we quickly learn, according to Mendelsohn, that another member of the team — possibly more — is in trouble.
“Nick was involved in the shooting of McKeen’s son, so just as Conrad Ecklie [Marc Van] was hot in retribution, we are not so sure what happens to Nick at the beginning of the premiere,” McGill adds. “He is in the wind and everybody is afraid that harm has come to him. In fact, when we find him, it looks as if harm is coming to him.”
Will Sara Sidle [Jorja Fox] be more in the forefront this year? Since Fox returned to the series on a fulltime basis last season — after four seasons as a guest star, she hasn’t had a front burner storyline. Part of the reasons is time had to be spent to introduce the new characters of DB Russell and Julie Finlay [Elisabeth Shue]. But that is about to change.
“Sara will very much be in the forefront in the premiere and she is very much in the forefront in episode 2,” Mendelsohn says. “There will be a murder at the cop diner, where the cops and the CSIs all go to eat. Actually more than one murder. It is going to hit home and hit a friend of hers.”
“Also in terms of Sara, we may delve into the Sara/Grissom [William Petersen] long-distance relationship. We are always hopeful that Billy may come back.”
[Ed. Note: Petersen was supposed to have made his return to TV this year with a Cinemax series, "Hurt People," but the latest word is he has pulled out of that, so he may be available.]
Guest stars: In addition to the previously mentioned guest stars in the series premiere, Enrique Murciano will be back as Detective Carlos Moreno — even though Moreno and Finlay’s relationship looked to be over — and Jon Wellner returns as Henry Andrews. Also, Jaclyn Smith will return as Hodges’ [Wallace Langham] mother, which may be when we find out what Hodges meant when he kept saying his life had changed. Mendelson teases, “It is something that happened in Italy of a romantic nature.”
In addition, as XfinityTV.com previously reported, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards will appear in episode 5 this season, playing Ms. Young, an upper class, sexy divorcée with attitude. She’s a neighbor of Barry, an attorney and the murder victim in the episode, and she is questioned by Julie Finlay, because she overheard the three shots that killed him. Not only that, she gossips cheerfully about Barry’s bad reputation as a scumbag attorney — giving the CSIs lots to think about.
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” premieres its 13th season on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c on CBS.