|Created by||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation|
Anthony E. Zuiker
CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI: Cyber
Anthony E. Zuiker
|Original work||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation|
|Films and television|
|Television series||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation|
|Traditional||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Board Game|
CSI: Crime Game Booster Pack
CSI: Senses: The Game
CSI: Miami: The Board Game
CSI: Board Game
|Video game(s)||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation|
CSI: Dark Motives
CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder
CSI: Hard Evidence
CSI: Deadly Intent
CSI: Crime City
CSI: Fatal Conspiracy
|Toy(s)||CSI: Forensics Lab|
CSI: DNA Laboratory
CSI: Forensic Facial
|Exhibition||CSI: The Experience|
CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) is a media franchise of American television series created by Anthony E. Zuiker. The first three CSI series follow the work of forensic scientists as they unveil the circumstances behind mysterious deaths, while the fourth series, CSI: Cyber, emphasizes behavioral psychology and how it can be applied to cyber forensics.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation began on October 6, 2000, and ran for fifteen full seasons. Starring (at various times) William Petersen, Ted Danson, Marg Helgenberger, Elisabeth Shue, and Laurence Fishburne, the series concluded its run with a two-hour finale entitled "Immortality" on September 27, 2015. The series' original lead characters, Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows, were based upon LVMPD Crime Scene Analysts Daniel Holstein and Yolanda McClary.CSI first spin-off and the second series within the franchise is CSI: Miami, which ran for ten seasons between 2002 and 2012, and was canceled on May 13, 2012. Miami stars David Caruso and Emily Procter, with its lead character, Horatio Caine, based upon LAPD bomb squad technician Detective John Haynes.
In 2004, CSI: Miami spun off CSI: NY, the third series in the franchise and the only indirect spin-off of CSI. It was canceled on May 10, 2013, after nine seasons. The series starred Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, and Sela Ward. In 2014, CSI spun off CSI: Cyber, its second direct spin-off and the fourth series in the franchise. Cyber premiered in 2015, and starred Patricia Arquette and franchise alumnus Ted Danson--the only actor to appear as a series regular in more than one CSI series. The lead character, Avery Ryan, was inspired by cyber-psychologist Mary Aiken, who was attached to the series as a producer.CSI: Cyber was canceled on May 12, 2016.
In 2020, CBS began considering a limited series revival featuring original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation cast members, William Petersen and Jorja Fox. It was eventually greenlighted, with a video teaser released on March 31, 2021.
A total of 797 episodes of the CSI franchise have aired.
The CSI franchise is available in 200 territories with an audience of two billion people. Various spin-offs have been developed to cater for the market including novels, comic books, and computer games.
The franchise has had a large cultural impact. It has spawned what has been called the "CSI effect", in which juries often have unreasonable expectations of real-life forensics because of what they have seen on CSI. Equally, the new-found popularity of forensics dramas on television has led to an increase in applications for courses dealing with forensic science or archaeological science--in the United Kingdom applications are up by 30%. The franchise is so influential that fellow CBS show How I Met Your Mother advertised itself as "not a Crime Scene Investigation show". In some ways the franchise may also fill a cultural need:
"We started in 2000 and it was a success, but our ratings really shot up after the September 11 attacks," Zuiker says in a documentary about the CSI phenomenon to be aired at Christmas . "People were rushing to us for their comfort food. There was a sense of justice in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - it helped to know that there were people like our characters out there helping to solve crimes. And, of course, 9/11 was the world's largest crime scene."
However, the "CSI effect" is considered by some experts to be responsible for helping criminals covering up evidence that could be used to trace them using techniques learned by watching CSI and other shows in the same genre. Recent studies could not find conclusive evidence for the existence of this effect.
CSI: Miami and CSI: Cyber spun off from CSI, and CSI: NY spun off from CSI: Miami, all via backdoor pilot episodes.
|First aired||Last aired|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||1||23||October 6, 2000||May 17, 2001||11||11.6|
|2||23||September 27, 2001||May 16, 2002||2||14.5|
|3||23||September 26, 2002||May 15, 2003||1||16.3|
|4||23||September 25, 2003||May 20, 2004||1||15.9|
|5||25||September 23, 2004||May 19, 2005||1||16.5|
|6||24||September 22, 2005||May 18, 2006||3||15.6|
|7||24||September 21, 2006||May 17, 2007||6||12.2|
|8||17||September 27, 2007||May 15, 2008||7||10.6|
|9||24||October 9, 2008||May 14, 2009||4||11.5|
|10||23||September 24, 2009||May 20, 2010||10||9.7|
|11||22||September 23, 2010||May 12, 2011||12||8.4|
|12||22||September 21, 2011||May 9, 2012||16||8.0|
|13||22||September 26, 2012||May 15, 2013||18||7.7|
|14||22||September 25, 2013||May 7, 2014||16||7.8|
|15||18||September 28, 2014||February 15, 2015||28||7.2|
|Finale||2||September 27, 2015||N/A||N/A|
|CSI: Miami||Backdoor pilot||May 9, 2002||N/A||N/A|
|1||24||September 23, 2002||May 19, 2003||11||11.0|
|2||24||September 22, 2003||May 24, 2004||8||11.9|
|3||24||September 20, 2004||May 23, 2005||5||12.4|
|4||25||September 19, 2005||May 22, 2006||8||11.8|
|5||24||September 18, 2006||May 14, 2007||10||10.7|
|6||21||September 24, 2007||May 19, 2008||11||9.2|
|7||25||September 22, 2008||May 18, 2009||12||9.1|
|8||24||September 21, 2009||May 24, 2010||18||8.1|
|9||22||October 3, 2010||May 8, 2011||22||7.3|
|10||19||September 25, 2011||April 8, 2012||27||7.1|
|CSI: NY||Backdoor pilot||May 17, 2004||N/A||N/A|
|1||23||September 22, 2004||May 18, 2005||20||8.9|
|2||24||September 28, 2005||May 17, 2006||18||9.2|
|3||24||September 20, 2006||May 16, 2007||16||8.9|
|4||21||September 26, 2007||May 21, 2008||22||7.6|
|5||25||September 24, 2008||May 14, 2009||15||8.6|
|6||23||September 23, 2009||May 26, 2010||19||7.9|
|7||22||September 24, 2010||May 13, 2011||N/A||N/A|
|8||18||September 23, 2011||May 11, 2012||N/A||N/A|
|9||17||September 21, 2012||February 22, 2013||23||7.3|
|CSI: Cyber||Backdoor pilots||April 30, 2014||November 16, 2014||N/A||N/A|
|1||13||March 4, 2015||May 13, 2015||39||10.77|
|2||18||October 4, 2015||March 13, 2016||50||8.50|
CSI:Miami and CSI:Cyber spun off from CSI, and CSI:NY spun off from CSI:Miami, all via backdoor-pilot episodes.
|Gil Grissom[N 1]||Main||William Petersen||2000||2015|
|Catherine Willows||Main||Marg Helgenberger||2000||2015|
|Warrick Brown||Main||Gary Dourdan||2000||2008|
|Nick Stokes||Main||George Eads||2000||2015|
|Jim Brass||Main||Paul Guilfoyle||2000||2015|
|Sara Sidle||Main||Jorja Fox||2000||2015|
|Greg Sanders||Main||Eric Szmanda||2000||2015|
|Al Robbins||Main||Robert David Hall||2000||2015|
|Sofia Curtis||Main||Louise Lombard||2004||2011|
|David Hodges||Main||Wallace Langham||2003||2015|
|Riley Adams||Main||Lauren Lee Smith||2008||2009|
|Raymond Langston||Main||Guest||Guest||Laurence Fishburne||2008||2011|
|Wendy Simms||Main||Liz Vassey||2005||2010|
|David Phillips||Main||David Berman||2000||2015|
|D.B. Russell[N 2]||Main||Guest||Main||Ted Danson||2011||2016|
|Morgan Brody||Main||Elisabeth Harnois||2011||2015|
|Julie Finlay||Main||Elisabeth Shue||2012||2015|
|Henry Andrews||Main||Jon Wellner||2005||2015|
|Horatio Caine||Guest||Main||Guest||David Caruso||2002||2012|
|Calleigh Duquesne||Guest||Main||Emily Procter||2002||2012|
|Eric Delko||Guest||Main||Adam Rodriguez||2002||2012|
|Alexx Woods||Guest||Main||Khandi Alexander||2002||2009|
|Tim Speedle||Guest||Main||Rory Cochrane||2002||2007|
|Megan Donner||Main||Kim Delaney||2002||2002|
|Yelina Salas||Main||Sofia Milos||2003||2009|
|Ryan Wolfe||Main||Jonathan Togo||2004||2012|
|Frank Tripp||Main||Rex Linn||2003||2012|
|Natalia Boa Vista||Main||Eva LaRue||2005||2012|
|Tara Price||Main||Megalyn Echikunwoke||2008||2009|
|Jesse Cardoza||Main||Eddie Cibrian||2009||2010|
|Walter Simmons||Main||Omar Benson Miller||2009||2012|
|Mac Taylor||Guest||Guest||Main||Gary Sinise||2004||2013|
|Stella Bonasera||Guest||Main||Melina Kanakaredes||2004||2010|
|Danny Messer||Guest||Main||Carmine Giovinazzo||2004||2013|
|Aiden Burn||Guest||Main||Vanessa Ferlito||2004||2006|
|Sheldon Hawkes||Guest||Main||Hill Harper||2004||2013|
|Don Flack||Main||Eddie Cahill||2004||2013|
|Lindsay Monroe||Main||Anna Belknap||2005||2013|
|Sid Hammerback||Main||Robert Joy||2005||2013|
|Adam Ross||Main||A. J. Buckley||2005||2013|
|Jo Danville||Main||Sela Ward||2010||2013|
|Avery Ryan||Guest||Main||Patricia Arquette||2014||2016|
|Elijah Mundo||Main||James Van Der Beek||2015||2016|
|Simon Sifter||Main||Peter MacNicol||2015||2015|
|Brody Nelson||Main||Shad Moss||2015||2016|
|Daniel Krumitz||Main||Charley Koontz||2015||2016|
|Raven Ramirez||Main||Hayley Kiyoko||2015||2016|
|D.B. Russell[N 2]||Main||Guest||Main||Ted Danson||2011||2016|
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The Las Vegas team are scientists foremost, and follow the evidence.
The crimes the Las Vegas CSI team face (other than the standard murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, and rapes) include casino robberies, bodies buried in the Nevada desert, and murders during different conventions at casinos.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Crime Lab is a modern crime lab and shares a lot (but not a building) with the Las Vegas Police Department. It reports to the sheriff's office. In early episodes of season one the lab is frequently referred to as the number two crime lab in the United States, solving cases believed unsolvable. The lab consists of specialist laboratories, a larger office (used by the Supervisor in seasons 1-9, and subsequently as a bullpen in seasons 9-11 and the Director's office from season 12 onwards), a smaller office used by Catherine Willows between seasons 5 and 12, a locker room, an AV room, a break-room, and stairs leading to a second floor, housing the office of the Director and Assistant Director (until D.B. Russell's appointment in which the Night Shift Supervisor's Office is used as the Director's office also). It is also believed to house the offices of the Day-shift and Swing-shift supervisors.
The Miami team are detectives foremost, and mainly use theories to solve crimes.
The crimes the Miami CSI team face (other than the standard murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, and rapes) include drug running, murdered refugees from Cuba, bodies found washed up on the beach and dumped in the Everglades, and crimes involving the rich and famous who have secrets to hide in their mansions and beachfront properties.
The Miami CSIs were firstly, in the backdoor pilot, stationed out of a broom closet next to the MDPD's bull pen. They were given their own building prior to the start of the first season. Originally dark and technical, this building housed Horatio's office, Megan's office, specialist labs, and a locker room. During the fourth season a government grant meant that slanted glass walls, multiple modern labs, an interrogation room, and a new locker room were all constructed. Horatio's office is not seen following the lab's reconstruction--although a state-of-the-art ballistics suite was added, acting as Calleigh's office. The lab has reinforced windows and shutters to protect against hurricanes and tsunamis.
The New York team are equally scientists and detectives, and frequently use criminal profiling (as well as evidence and theories) to solve cases.
The crimes the New York CSI team face (other than the standard murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, and rapes) include organised crime activity involving the Italian Mafia, street-gang violence, and ethnic, cultural, and ability differences.
During the first season, the NYPD CSI lab is in an old underground building with rustic brick walls. The lab houses Mac's office, a locker room, the autopsy suite, and specialist forensic laboratories. As of the second season the lab is on the 35th floor of a high-rise building in Manhattan. Equipped with glass walls and state-of-the-art equipment, this lab consists of the Supervisor's office (belonging to Mac, and - for a short time - Jo), specialist laboratories, an observation walkway, a break-room and kitchen, a locker room, and an office belonging to the Assistant Supervisor (first Stella, then Jo), containing an additional hot-desk used by Hawkes, Danny, Lindsay, and Aiden. Part of this second lab is blown up in the season three finale, "Snow Day", but is restored by the beginning of season four.
The Cyber team focuses on the technical aspect of crimes, with NextGen forensics providing it with a real-world crime scene investigative counterpart.
The FBI Cyber Crime Division investigates cyber-based terrorism, internet-related murders, espionage, computer intrusions, major cyber-fraud, cyber-theft, hacking, sex offenses, blackmail, and any other crime deemed to be cyber-related within the FBI's jurisdiction.
-- Cyber Crime Division
The FBI Cyber Crime Division operates out of Washington, D.C. and is housed in the Cyber Threat Operations Center. The CTOC consists of Ryan's office, Russell's office, a communications bull pen housing the desks of Krumitz, Nelson, and Ramirez, a cyber lab, a glass walkway, and a 'tear-down room'. Due to their nomadic nature the team are often seen interviewing suspects at various FBI field offices and police departments.
-- Next Generation Cyber Forensics Division
The Next Generation Cyber Forensics Division is a lab-based facility within the Cyber Crime Division used for the processing of evidence in cyber-related cases.
The opening themes for all four series are remixes of songs performed by The Who.
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||"Who Are You"|
|CSI: Miami||"Won't Get Fooled Again"|
|CSI: NY||"Baba O'Riley"|
|CSI: Cyber||"I Can See for Miles"|
Crossovers are possible between CSI series as well as with other programs within the same creative stable. Between the series the baton is passed to the new CSI series via a crossover/pilot where cases are overlapped and personnel are shared. Many actors have appeared in two of the series. Five actors have appeared in three: David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, and Gary Sinise all appeared in CSI, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY, while Ted Danson appeared as a guest star on CSI: NY and a series regular on both CSI and CSI: Cyber, making him the first actor to be a main character in more than one CSI series. Before becoming a regular as "Danny Messer" on CSI: NY, Carmine Giovinazzo had a small role as "Thumpy G" in an episode of CSI, making him the only lead actor to play two characters within the franchise. Crossovers have also, on occasion, taken place between a CSI series and a series outside the franchise.
|Crossover between||Episode||Type||Actors crossing over||Date aired|
|Series A||Series B||Series C|
|CSI||CSI: Miami||N/A||"Cross Jurisdictions"
|Backdoor pilot||Series A: David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodríguez, Rory Cochrane, Khandi Alexander||May 9, 2002|
|Catherine and Warrick team up with Horatio Caine to investigate the murder of Las Vegas' former chief and the kidnapping of his wife and daughter following a wild party.|
|CSI: Miami||CSI: NY||N/A||"MIA/NYC NonStop"
(CSI: Miami 2.23)
|Backdoor pilot||Series A: Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Vanessa Ferlito, Hill Harper||May 17, 2004|
|Horatio travels to New York believing it to be the residence of someone who committed a double homicide. He is assisted by Mac Taylor who suspects that the crimes in Miami might be connected to the murder of an undercover New York cop.|
|CSI: NY||CSI||N/A||"Grand Master"
(CSI: NY 1.04)
|Character appearance||Series A: Ricky Harris||October 27, 2004|
|CSI consultant Disco Placid (first seen in "Anonymous") consults on the audio aspects of a murder that takes place during a turntable competition.|
|CSI: Miami||CSI: NY||N/A||"Felony Flight"
(CSI: Miami 4.07)
(CSI: NY 2.07)
|Two-night event||Series A: Gary Sinise
Series B: David Caruso
|Nov. 7, 2005|
Nov. 9, 2005
|A convicted serial killer, Henry Darius, sabotages and escapes an airplane that was flying him from New York to Miami, where he supposedly buried a body. After fleeing the crash site he goes on a killing spree and abducts a college student. Since Darius was originally arrested in New York, Mac Taylor arrives in Miami to help Horatio track the killer down. Darius murders a group of teens in a luxury apartment where he tries to rob a security vault.|
|CSI: Miami||CSI: NY||CSI||"Bone Voyage"
(CSI: Miami 8.07)
(CSI: NY 6.07)
"The Lost Girls"
|CSI: Trilogy||Series A & B: Laurence Fishburne||Nov. 9, 2009|
Nov. 11, 2009
Nov. 12, 2009
|Ray Langston arrives in Miami to investigate a severed leg found in the Everglades that belonged to a girl who disappeared in Las Vegas a week before. He discovers a human-trafficking ring that specializes in black-market organ harvesting that leads him to New York where he assists Mac in attempting to free a hostage. Ray returns to Las Vegas to find a missing girl who's been taken by the human traffickers and may be part of a prostitution ring.|
|CSI||CSI: NY||N/A||"In Vino Veritas"
"Seth and Apep"
(CSI: NY 9.15)
|Two-night event||Series A: Gary Sinise
Series B: Ted Danson
|Feb. 6, 2013|
Feb. 8, 2013
|Mac Taylor visits Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend, Christine, who is missing upon his arrival. It turns out she was kidnapped in New York before the trip and a look-alike took her place. D.B Russell insists on accompanying Mac back to New York to help find her.|
|Backdoor pilot||Series A: Patricia Arquette||Apr. 30, 2014|
|Avery Ryan, a Special Agent attached to the FBI Cyber Crime Division, travels to Las Vegas when the murder of a casino mogul's wife is linked to an UnSub she has been tracking who commits crimes on the internet that play out in the real world.|
|CSI||CSI: Cyber||N/A||"The Twin Paradox"
|Guest appearance||Series A: Patricia Arquette||Nov. 16, 2014|
|Finlay leads the CSI team in a hunt for Seattle's notorious Gig Harbor Killer, while Russell meets with colleague Avery Ryan for advice on how to catch a mentally unstable serial killer.|
|Crossover between||Episode||Type||Actors crossing over||Date aired|
|Series A||Series B|
|CSI: NY||Cold Case||"Cold Reveal"
(CSI: NY 3.22)
|Guest appearance||Series A: Danny Pino||May 2, 2007|
|When Stella Bonasera's DNA matches evidence found during a Cold Case investigation in Philadelphia, Detective Scotty Valens visits the New York Crime Lab in order to rule her out as a homicide suspect.|
|CSI||Without a Trace||"Who and What"
"Where and Why"
(Without a Trace 6.06)
|Two-hour event||Series A: Anthony LaPaglia
Series B: William Petersen
|Nov. 8, 2007|
|Jack Malone joins forces with Grissom to track a serial killer since a boy who was kidnapped in New York six years before matches the profile of a Las Vegas murder victim. The two of them establish the killer's pattern of behavior to track him down.|
|Two and a Half Men||CSI||"Fish in a Drawer"
(Two and a Half Men 5.17)
"Two and a Half Deaths"
|Writer exchange||Series A: George Eads
Series B: Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones
|May 5, 2008|
May 8, 2008
|The two shows' writers swapped roles. George Eads appears in "Fish in a Drawer" as a wedding guest when a man is found dead, possibly murdered. In "Two and a Half Deaths" Grissom investigates the death of a sitcom diva who was filming in Las Vegas. Sheen, Cryer, and Jones appear as themselves wearing the same clothes from "Fish in a Drawer".|
|CSI||MythBusters||"Theory of Everything"
"Fireball Stun Gun"
|Cameo appearance||Series A: Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage||May 1, 2008|
June 2, 2010
|The team investigates an abundance of cases that turn out to be related, including the death of a man who may have spontaneously combusted in police custody due to the combination of two supposedly nonlethal weapons: pepper spray and a stun gun. Hyneman and Savage appear in "Theory of Everything" as lab technicians watching Nick test the idea and then later on MythBusters test it themselves in earnest and find it plausible.|
In the UK, Channel 5 edited together related episodes to make one whole feature. These include:
|Series||Title||Episodes edited together||Runtime|
|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||The CSI Pilot Movie||"Pilot" / "Cool Change"|
|The CSI Movie: Grave Danger||"Grave Danger (Part 1)" / "Grave Danger (Part 2)"|
|The CSI Movie: Bullet||"A Bullet Runs Through It (Part 1)" /
"A Bullet Runs Through It (Part 2)"
|The CSI Movie: Bang-Bang||"Bang-Bang" / "Way to Go"||110 mins|
|The CSI Movie: Built to Kill||"Built to Kill (Part 1)" / "Built to Kill (Part 2)"||110 mins|
|The CSI Movie: Dr Who & Mr Jekyll||"Doctor Who" / "Meat Jekyll"||105 mins|
|The CSI Movie: Immortality||"Immortality Part I" / "Immortality Part II"||87 mins|
|CSI: Miami||The CSI Movie: Crisis||"No Man's Land" / "Man Down"||105 mins|
|The CSI Movie: Fallen||'"All Fall Down" / "Fallen"||105 mins|
|CSI: NY||The CSI Movie: Revenge||"Nothing for Something" / "Life Sentence"||100 mins|
Also Channel 5 will sometimes group episodes with similar themes together such as:
The CSI franchise has spawned 11 computer games published by Ubisoft across the three shows.
Gameloft has also published a series of mobile games based on the CSI series including CSI: The Mobile Game (Vegas) and CSI: Miami.
In addition, several board games and puzzles based on all three series have seen release, all published by Canadian game manufacturer Specialty Board Games, Inc. In 2011, the CSI Board Game was released by another Canadian company, GDC-GameDevCo Ltd. It is the first game to include all three CSI shows.
Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry opened an exhibit in CSI's honor on May 25, 2007 called: "CSI: The Experience". In October 2011 it was at Discovery Times Square in New York City. There is also a game on the website where you are trained in forensic biology, weapons and tool mark analyses, toxicology and the autopsy.
Various novelizations have appeared based on the series. Authors include Max Allan Collins (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Donn Cortez (CSI: Miami), Stuart M. Kaminsky (CSI: NY), and Keith R.A. DeCandido (CSI: NY).
Titan Magazines published 11 issues of CSI Magazine starting in November 2007. They contained a mixture of features and interviews looking into the world of the three CSIs and the people who help create it. They were available in the UK and US.
A range of toys have been developed. These include:
However, they have been the source of some controversy. The Parents Television Council, who have complained about CSI in general, in 2004 released a statement specifically aimed at the toys. The PTC e-mailed letters to their supporters, telling them the content of the games were entirely inappropriate for children to be exposed to "because the CSI franchise often displays graphic images, including close-ups of corpses with gunshot wounds and other bloody injuries." The letter went on to say "The PTC doesn't think the recreation of blood, guts and gore should be under a child's Christmas tree this year," PTC concluded. "This so-called 'toy' is a blatant attempt to market CSI and its adult-oriented content directly to children."
In urging members to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, PTC said CBS parent company Viacom needed to hear from parents who are concerned about the "graphic scenes of blood, violence, and sex" in their product. They also asked their supporters to contact Target and Toys "R" Us.
Producers announced intentions to break the Guinness World Record for largest ever TV simulcast drama on March 4, 2015, with the episode "Kitty" airing in 150 countries in addition to digital streaming. They succeeded in breaking the record by airing CSI: Cybers backdoor pilot in 171 countries.
Because of the popularity of the CSI franchise in the United Kingdom, Channel 5 created two documentaries about CSI. The first one called The Real CSI follows real crime scene investigators as they work on crime scene. The second documentary, True CSI, features true tales of how forensic science has helped solve some of the world's best known crimes. True CSI had actors re-enacting the crime as well as interviews with people involved in the solving of the crimes themselves. Cases featured included the Sam Sheppard case.
In early 2007, British channel ITV1 broadcast a special of its flagship documentary Tonight with Trevor McDonald discussing the ramifications of the "CSI effect", highlighting the effect not only of the franchise but of several other British and American TV police procedurals.
As well as fictional books based on the franchise there have also been a number of guides published: