Taking part in the Television Critics Association press tour, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" has given away the first clip of the upcoming season which offers a look at Ted Danson in his role. As a new lead investigator, he has his own way to try to get information from a young witness.
Danson's character, D.B. Russell, has been said to be a bit more light-hearted than Ray Langston who was portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. Executive producer Don McGill additonally described Russell as a family man "who grew up with counter-culture parents and traveled around with them." He went on elaborating, "They were folk singers. He wasn't just home-schooled, he was van-schooled."
With Danson's arrival and a new arc, executive producer Carol Mendelsohn teased that season 12 will be lighter. "I think you can infer it [from the clip]," she claimed. "Last season we were chasing a serial killer ... that arc has come to an end. With the introduction of our new CSI superior who has his own process, I think you can say it's a lighter season."
Also during the panel at the TCA, Marg Helgenberger stated that the upcoming twelfth season will be the last for her. "I've been itching to get back on the stage, but it's been hard. The commitment on this show and then raising a son, who's now 20, a production assistant on CSI!" she explained her reason to quit.
Still, the Catherine Willows depicter did not rule out possibility of her returning for more episodes. "[The odds that this is my last season] are pretty strong," she admitted. "Yeah, I mean, there's chance [I'd come back]. They've always left the door open for me."
As for why she backed out of her initial plan to leave "CSI" in season 11, she said she was "having a hard time letting go." She further stated, "I was not yet done playing this character. That's why I decided to extend (my contract) a little bit."