Ted Danson is joining the cast of CSI this year, as Lawrence Fishburne moves on. Danson met with the Television Critics Association to discuss the show’s new direction, and after the presentation I jumped in a with a few questions about jargon, his legacy and good old Sam Malone.
CraveOnline: What terminology are you learning for CSI?
Ted Danson: More than I can even remember. You can almost see smoke coming out of my ears in some of these early scenes wrapping my brain around all the new technology. But it really is fun. I’ve been doing a lot of character work and this is not as character driven a piece. It’s science and mystery driven but to literally figure out, you almost feel like a real CSI person kind of in that you are trying to wrap your brain around as an actor all of this information and have it make sense. So it’s a great discipline. I’m having a lot of fun.
CraveOnline: How much CSI did you watch before you joined the cast?
Ted Danson: Billy Peterson and I did a film years ago and then right after that he got this, so I watched for a while to see how he was doing in it. I’d been watching a lot of the episodes. The last two episodes last year I thought were through the roof, unbelievably good.
CraveOnline: When you think about all the characters you’ve gotten to play, whether long running on TV or one time in film, do you marvel at how many different people you’ve been?
Ted Danson: I’m very lucky but that’s what I wanted to be. That’s what I went to school for, to be a character actor.
CraveOnline: After all these years, is there still a chance for Sam and Diane?
Ted Danson: [Laughs] Yeah, it’d be a funny show in walkers. Wait ‘til we’re using walkers.