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July 24, 2014

Marg Helgenberger renews CSI contract

by Allison Waldman, posted May 15th 2008 11:21AM
Marg HelgenbergerThere's been a lot of flux on CSI, CBS's top rated, long-running, extremely popular forensics-procedural-crime drama (I think that covers all the categories, right?) At the end of last season, Jorja Fox decided not to come back to the show, and her role as Sara was written out in the first two episodes of the year. The producers left the door open for her to return -- they didn't kill her off -- but she's gone.

Tonight is the last of Gary Dourdan as Warrick. He's having trouble off-camera, a serious felony arrest earlier this month for drugs, so his leaving may have been a necessity even if he hadn't chosen to exit. Therefore, it's a good thing to be able to tell you that USA Today reports that Marg Helgenberger has inked a new contract with CSI for two more years. That, coupled with William Petersen's signing a new deal in April, means that CSI is in good shape for the foreseeable future. CBS should be doing the happy-dance.


Helgenberger is a wonderful actress -- an Emmy-winner for China Beach (and an Emmy nominee for CSI) -- and she brings a lot to the plot-driven show. Her character, Catherine Willows, has a good back story and when given the opportunity, amid the bizarre murders and strange cases, Willows' personal issues make for good drama. She also has a connection with Grissom (Petersen) and is one of the few characters who can really question him or talk back. Put it this way: if Willows were to leave the show, there'd be a huge hole to fill.

Off camera, Marg is married to actor and SAG president Alan Rosenberg. He's currently in the midst of heated negotiations to avoid a SAG strike. By association, Marg's involved, so re-signing with CSI was probably a relief -- you know, one less thing to worry about. She was the last original cast member to re-up, by the way.

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McGinty

" Jorja Fox decided not to come back to the show, and her role as Sara was written out in the first two episodes of the year".


Who was that in episode 7? :)

May 22 2008 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jez

Good to hear. All this character loss is effecting the show a little bit. For example, I know a lot of people don't really like Sara, but admit it, the show feels just a little less emotional after she's gone. I really believe that Jorja was the one bringing up the emotion to the scenes. We'll see how the show will fare after Warrick is out.

May 16 2008 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samsara

I'm glad Marg is staying. She's a good actress and it's nice to see older women on TV as they usually disappear after the age of 35.

Way to go Marg!!!

May 15 2008 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samith

I am glad to know that Marg signed for a couple more seasons.
As for Liz: I remember Marg said in a TV interview that the writers are planning to give Liz Vassey a bigger role in the upcoming episodes/season, possibly making her a CSI.

May 15 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

More Liz Vassey is ALWAYS a good thing.

May 15 2008 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keithnl

..."She also has a connection with Grissom (Petersen) and is one of the few characters who can really question him or talk back."...

I used to think that Grissom was the only indispensable member of the cast, but thats a good point. I can only imagine how horrible it would be to parachute in some new actor with a ton of preloaded back story in order to provide a foil for Grissom.

May 15 2008 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
divineparasite

Glad to hear the news, with all the rumors of who's leaving, who's staying its nice to know that some actors are sticking around till the end, whenever that may be. If I had my way, they'd take some of the lab people and give them more screentime and bigger roles, like they've been doing with lab guy Hodges lately. I'd love to see actress and re-urring character Liz Vassy/Wendy Simms become part of the main cast, and not just a supporting character. Granted CSI may be on its final year/years with the upcoming season. Its still a good show, just sad that the show couldn't end with its entire cast intact.

May 15 2008 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to divineparasite's comment
keithnl

..."I'd love to see actress and re-urring character Liz Vassy/Wendy Simms become part of the main cast..."

Ya know thats a great idea, she always pops when shes on screen and it would be a lot less jarring if she got bumped up to the A team, and they saved the new blood to fill Warricks shoes.

May 15 2008 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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