That's right, CSIers, producer Carol Mendelsohn told EW columnist Brian Ausiello "the theme of (season 10) is family." "The Ausiello Files" interview — which also includes feedback from producer Naren Shankar — appeared in the July 31 edition of EW. (I know, I know, a little late, but hey … )
And speaking of being an important part of the "CSI" family is Jorja Fox's Sara Sidle, who will be in five episodes this season. As I pointed out in my review of the premiere in last week's blog — long before I read the EW column, Sara "comes in and brings everyone together" and gives Catherine some leadership tips, Mendelsohn said.
As inferred in last week's premiere, the producers said they want to restore a feeling of family after "the family had disintegrated a little bit" with the departures of Grissom (William Petersen), Fox (at least for a while) and the character leaving the biggest gap, Warrick (Gary Dourdan). Oh yeah, and Riley. (Did we miss her in the first place?!?)
Mendelsohn and Shankar also teased:
• Grissom and Sara "are absolutely together," but with Sara coming back by herself, there's obviously some bumpy parts to their marriage, to say the least. Shankar called "the first few months" of marriage for any couple "a weird adjustment." (Wait, when did this crime procedural turn into a frickin' soap opera?!?)
• Grissom's inevitable return. (Which shouldn't be a surprise, since Petersen has remained an executive producer and pretty much told EW — as Grissom's time on "CSI" was winding down in season 8 — that Grissom would come back occasionally.) Mendelsohn, for her part, sounded a lot like a local defense attorney who shall remain anonymous, and was pretty weasel-y by saying a lot without saying anything of substance when asked if audiences would see Grissom again.
"The theme of (season 10) is family. And he certainly is part of the family — a big part of the family," she told Ausiello. (His emphasis, not mine.) In the columnist's concluding words, "I'll take that as a yes."
Well, DUH! My prediction: We'll see Grissom return during the sweeps. He might be in as many as three shows; anymore than that and I'd be surprised. I'd further guess the CSIs will want to bow to Grissom's knowledge, but he will instead advocate Catherine's the team leader now. This will of course help Catherine grow into a more assertive and effective leader — probably another theme we'll see this year.
See you back here Friday for my review of tonight's episode!