The CSI Series Finale: Case Closed

UPDATE: Stars of CSI talk about the end of the legendary series below!

CSI Series Finale
Creator, Executive Producer, CSI Franchise, Anthony E. Zuiker
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

After 335 episodes, television’s most cutting-edge crime procedural series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, comes to an end on Sept. 27. For fans of the groundbreaking series, the end of the show’s 15-year run feels bittersweet, but no one has shed more tears than series creator, writer and executive producer Anthony E. Zuiker, who penned the series’ final script. “I was all over the place,” he admits. “I was laughing out loud. I was crying every day. Not necessarily crying because it was over, but just touched, kind of touched by the characters and touched by the moments and hearing the voices again.”

He also shared the surreal moment when he completed the final script. “I remember I typed the words ‘End of Series’ at the end of the second hour’s script. I just kind of stood up, I pressed print and I just left because it was so bizarre and I went down to a deli, sat down, I had a sandwich and like, ‘I can’t believe I just typed the words “End of Series!”’ It was really bizarre. Tons and tons of tears, I’ll tell you that, and tons of laughs.”

Zuiker calls the two-hour finale “a love letter to the fans,” and says, “It’s going to be intense, it’s going to be hilarious, it’s going to shed tears and have brand-new science, a really complex, rich mystery, and just really take you back to some of the old-school stuff and kind of push it forward to the new-school stuff. And leave there, I believe, satisfied with all the time and investment that you’ve had in the franchise if you were a fan. If you’re not a fan, and you come in for the first time, you’ll still have a wild ride too.”

CSI Series Finale
Return of our favorites! Paul Guilfoyle and Marg Helgenberger
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Zuiker isn’t giving away any spoilers, but while we speak, William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger walk across the studio lot. “It’s really cool,” he shares. “It’s cool to have them back. It’s really neat to reconnect with them.” Past and current series stars also scheduled to appear include Ted Danson, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Paul Guilfoyle, Wallace Langham, David Berman, Elisabeth Harnois and Jon Wellner. Also, Melinda Clarke returns as Lady Heather.

Launching one, let alone four successful TV series is a herculean feat, and how Zuiker — who was living in Las Vegas and working in the hospitality industry — came up with the concept that became C.S.I. is no less miraculous. Back in August 1999, Zuiker saw an episode of a Discovery Channel series that covered the murder of former Raiders cheerleader Linda Sobek. He was fascinated that the case hinged upon the DNA of a single hair found in the suspect’s car and he knew that he had stumbled upon something with potential. “I realized that the body was a perfect specimen and then C.S.I. was born at that point.” Zuiker did a lot of research, wrote his first ever TV pilot and “We were lucky enough to sell it, shoot it and air it. It aired on October 6 of 2000 — on a Friday — and the rest is history.”

CSI Series Finale
Ted Danson and Jorja Fox revel in the series finale drama-rama.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

In its 15 years on TV, C.S.I. has had many memorable moments and jaw-dropping episodes and Zuiker reveals, “My personal favorite episode of all time is the episode titled ‘Blood Drops.’ It’s episode number 107, first season. The finale of Season 5, directed by Quentin Tarantino was called ‘Grave Danger.’ That was really fantastic. Then … the first time we went No. 1 was an episode I wrote solo entitled, ‘Ellie,’ named after Jim Brass’ daughter. I think those are the three I kind of really, really enjoyed … and certainly this one — the finale — will be in that same company.”

When pressed to choose an item from the set he’d like to take with him, Zuiker already has something in mind. “There’s a small medallion that’s embedded in the floor where Billy Petersen last stood. I’m hoping to get my hands on that piece of flooring when it’s all over.” As the man who built the franchise from the ground up, it seems like a fitting choice.

BELOW: CSI stars talk about the series finale!

CSI Series Finale > CBS > Sunday, Sept. 27 at 9pm ET/PT

All images ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


  1. Loved the finale even the plot was weak and felt like a rushed job. So glad to have Grissom back for the series swan song. And he delivered. Once again he and Jorja brought back the Geek Love magic. The bees scene, Grissom’s monologue on the lonely whale song, the dock scene and the end scene will be always treasured and appreciated. If you ask what I’d like to see but didn’t get to do so, then, I must say the absence of former lab rats like Archie, Mia, Wendy, Jacqui, Mandy, and Bobby. Hell, I even missed the news anchor woman. How come no one mentioned Detective Vartann or the DPC, Sofia Curtis?

    Gorge made the right decision, though, IMHO. He was supposed to be the one arresting Grissom in SD harbor for trespassing. Come on, Zuiker. How could a crime lab director do such low level shit? Still, I do wish they could flash a montage bringing up the people and memorable moments from the past.

    Maybe sometime down the road we might get to see a CSI Special?

  2. Bummed that the show is ending. I’ve watched it for 15 years and I still love it! I own all the seasons on iTunes!
    Keeping CSI Cyber I think is a big mistake. The show is horrible.

    • Tiffany-
      I just watched a few clips of the series finale and it looks Amazing!! I can’t wait for Sunday!

  3. I and my wife would like to say thank you to the writer and creator and the whole cast of the show both past and current and would love to see down the road a reunion of all the cast writer directer and thank you for the past fifteen years of the most supierior show on tv and may God Bless you all. I am now closeing as I have to many tears to be able to continue with any more. Good night to all of you at CSI and may God Bless you all.

  4. Kellie,
    This has been a great show and was always superior to the copy cat spin-offs. I liked the original cast with W. R. Petersen the best.

    • J.C.-
      CBS has an electronic press kit for the finale on their media site that is wonderful. I be you’ll love it. I will see if CBS will allow me to post it above.

  5. Great article, Kellie, and so cool that you got to chat with the creator! CSI has been one of my favorite shows since it started. I didn’t remember that there would only be a final episode, and not a whole last season–it will be missed!!

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