CSI: NY (Crime Scene Investigation: New York) is an American police procedural television series that ran on CBS from September 22, 2004 to February 22, 2013 for a total of nine seasons and 197 original episodes. The show follows the investigations of a team of NYPD forensic scientists and police officers identified as “Crime Scene Investigators” (instead of the actual title of “Crime Scene Unit Forensic Technicians” (CSU)) as they unveil the circumstances behind mysterious and unusual deaths as well as other crimes. The series is an indirect spin-off from the veteran series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and a direct spin-off from CSI: Miami, during an episode in which several of the CSI: NY characters made their first appearance.
The series ended its ninth and final season on February 22, 2013. It was canceled by CBS on May 10, 2013.
The CSI: Miami spin-off and third installment of the CSI franchise, CSI: NY follows Mac Taylor, a veteran detective who, through his history as a Marine Major, has developed a brash yet fair leadership style. Originally from Chicago, Mac is the director of the New York Crime Lab and works closely with his partner and number two, Jo Danville. Danville is a former FBI Special Agent in Charge and an experienced investigator whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim. Less organized than Taylor, Detective Danville is just as valuable to her team. Against a backdrop of ethnic and cultural tensions, Taylor and Danville's team probes cases similar to that of their Las Vegas and Miami counterparts. The rest of the elite forensics squad includes Detective Danny Messer, who's from a family of law enforcers and law breakers; his wife, Detective Lindsay Monroe, a Montana native and a survivor of violent crime; and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes, a surgeon turned coroner turned CSI. The CSIs are assisted by Detective Don Flack, a homicide detective who is often first on the crime scene; Dr. Sid Hammerback, the Chief Medical Examiner and a secret millionaire; and Adam Ross, a lab technician who by the final season is training to become a CSI. Stella Bonasera, a former patrol officer out of Brooklyn North, was the team's original Assistant Supervisor. She was Mac's closest confidant before leaving to head up the New Orleans Crime Lab. Also gone is the late Detective Aiden Burn, who was unafraid to risk her career to get justice.
Detective First Grade Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) is the head of the NYC Crime Lab and the leader of the CSI team. He was born in Chicago and considered working for the Chicago Police Department before he moved to New York City. The death of his wife, Claire Conrad Taylor, in the 9/11 attacks troubles him to this day, causing chronic insomnia. It was also noted in the first season that he kept a beach ball in his closet that once belonged to his wife; he stated he was unable to throw it away because it contained her breath. He served as a major in the United States Marine Corps with experience in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and Operation Desert Storm, once saying that he had wanted to serve the country more than anything else in the world. He later enjoys a relationship with Medical Examiner Peyton Driscoll, though she makes the painful decision to return to England, the country of her birth, after a year. Since then, Mac has dated casually, but remains “married” to his work. At the end of the season seven, he takes a leave of absence from the NYPD Crime Lab to work for a private DNA lab attempting to identify the remains of those who died on 9/11, but he soon returns to the team (season 8, episode 2).
Detective First Grade Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) is devoted to her job due to her strong personality, determination, and intelligence. She is a half-Greek, half-Italian orphan, who grew up moving from foster home to foster home due to the death of her mother in a traffic accident when Stella was just two years old (episode 5.24 “Grounds for Deception”). Because of this, the CSI team becomes her real family, and she watches over them like an elder sister as much as a supervisor. Stella (due to actress Melina Kanakaredes not renewing her contract for season seven) resigns from the NYPD Crime Lab and moves to New Orleans to run the NOPD Crime Lab.
Detective First Grade Jo Danville (Sela Ward) comes from Virginia, where she worked for the FBI. Her field of expertise is DNA evidence, and her philosophical point of view is that everyone is innocent until the science proves otherwise. She also has background in criminal psychology. She has a college-age son, Tyler, from her previous marriage to a fellow FBI agent, and an adopted daughter, Ellie.
Detective Third Grade Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) grew up in a family under surveillance. Danny formulated his own set of hybrid ethics, blending the world of lawbreakers with the world of lawmakers. Danny had a short-lived career in the music business, and was at one time an excellent baseball player. His elder brother Louie, seeking to protect Danny, is beaten into a coma by young mobsters he once ran with. Over the years, Danny proves his merit and earns the respect of his colleagues. He grows close to and marries CSI Lindsay Monroe, with whom he has a daughter, Lucy Messer. Danny is promoted to the rank of sergeant at the end of season seven to get the extra pay. He works patrol training rookie officers, but later (season 8, episode 4) voluntarily gives up his promotion and returns to the crime lab. The last time his detective status was referred to, Mac told him that he would not be on the second grade promotion grid, making him a third grade.
Detective Third Grade Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito) is a Brooklyn native who has the ability to adapt to new situations very quickly. Because the actress wanted to leave the series, the character is written out by being dismissed from the team (episode 2.02 “Grand Murder At Central Station”) after becoming obsessed with a rape case. She considers planting evidence to implicate a suspect, D.J. Pratt, who had allegedly raped the same victim previously. She is later murdered and burned by Pratt, though she leaves the CSIs with enough implicating evidence she knew would result in a conviction.
Detective Third Grade Lindsay Monroe Messer (Anna Belknap) worked as a CSI in Montana and finally realized her dream of moving to a big city like New York. Her northwestern work ethic and willingness to roll up her sleeves and tackle any job is a welcome addition to the team where she is quickly put through rookie training by Mac on their first case. She develops a friendly, sparring relationship with CSI Danny Messer, though she asks to slow down so she can focus on testifying at the trial of a horrific murder, in which the teenaged Lindsay witnessed three friends die. Later she marries Danny (after which he stops using his private nickname for her, “Montana”) and bears their daughter Lucy Messer. Lindsay is awarded the Police Combat Cross by the NYPD for killing Shane Casey, a psychopathic fugitive, in the Messers' own apartment while Lucy and Danny were in mortal danger, although she later throws the medal into a trash can.
Medical Examiner Sid Hammerback M.D. (Robert Joy) is described as an "off-the-charts genius" who only recently traded in a career as a chef to become medical examiner. He has two college-aged daughters and at least two ex-wives. He has a habit of over-talking and over-sharing, which former ME Hawkes refers to as "going to that creepy place." Despite any eccentricities on his part, Sid is extremely perceptive and sincerely cares for the well-being of his coworkers.
Laboratory Technician Adam Ross (A. J. Buckley) is a lab tech originally from Phoenix, Arizona. His specialty is trace evidence. He sometimes accompanies the CSIs to crime scenes to aid in reconstruction or evidence collection. Adam hints that his father was “a bully”, and that he developed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder traits in order to deal with his painful childhood. Outside the office, he dabbles in various subcultures, from Second Life gaming to dating a Suicide Girl, and is a textbook modern geek. CSI Stella Bonasera in particular develops a soft spot for the much younger Adam, and while the team is grieving and recovering from shared tragedy, she caves into his puppyish crush on her and takes him to bed.
Crime Scene Investigator Sheldon Hawkes M.D. (Hill Harper) is a former medical examiner with the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). He was a child prodigy who graduated from college at age 18 and was a board-licensed surgeon by the age of 24 and had several years experience in the emergency room. He left surgery because the pain of losing two patients was too intense, despite doing all that medical science could do to save them. He has few relationships but they run deep: an ex-girlfriend he wanted to marry, and a new, recent love that is strong enough to weather some serious workplace fallout. Although he is a CSI, he is not a detective.
NYPD Homicide Detective First Grade Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) comes from a long line of law enforcement officials. He bridges the gap between old-school NYPD and the new generation of CSI. He is a witty detective who has very little patience for the “bad guy,” and his techniques are sometimes considered borderline, though effective. He is best friends with Danny Messer, and is always willing to lend an ear to Danny's problems. Despite being an NYPD strongman, Flack is emotionally mature and sympathetic to those in need. He develops a serious, long-term relationship with Detective Jessica Angell, who is later shot and killed.