'CSI' season premiere: Ted Danson takes over, changes the vibe

csi-premiere-ted-danson.jpgThere's a new man in charge of the Las Vegas crime lab, and he's a little ... off. Not by societal standards, but by the standards of previous "CSI" lead characters.

Ted Danson took over the lead role on CBS' long-running hit Wednesday (Sept. 21), and he immediately brought a different vibe to the show. His D.B. Russell is new to Las Vegas, and unlike the brilliant but socially awkward Gil Grissom ( William Petersen) and the driven-slash-obsessive Ray Langston ( Laurence Fishburne), Russell is, well, he's kinda normal.

He's got his quirks, to be sure: When we meet him, he's lying down in the middle of a crime scene -- an inter-casino tram car -- and he sees constellations in the rust patterns on the roof of the car. But he's also got a wife and kids, and you get the sense that as good as he is at the job, it's not the only thing in his life.

Normal may be what the "CSI" team needs after what they went through at the end of last season, but they don't seem to take too well to D.B.'s laid-back style at first. Nick doesn't even know there is a new guy until he gets back from a training session in Hawaii, Catherine has been demoted in the wake of the Langston/L.A. fiasco and everyone is pretty much on edge.

Will Russell buying breakfast fix all that? Probably not right away, but we like the way he thinks. We don't anticipate a kinder, gentler "CSI" -- I mean, you saw the B-story about the guy whose skin was separated from his muscle by an air compressor, right? -- but the different energy that Danson brings to the show seems to suit it well.

What did you think of the "CSI" premiere, and how do you think Danson fits in?
Photo/Video credit: CBS