It's time to say goodbye to Gil Grissom

Williampetersen_csi_240 Gil Grissom is leaving Las Vegas.

William Petersen's last episode of CSI airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. on CBS.  As you all know Laurence Fishburne, who was introduced in December, joins the cast as Dr. Raymond Langston. By the end of the episode, Langston will have a job in the Las Vegas crime lab (because really what professor wouldn't want a low-paying, entry-level job?). His first full day on the job is next week.

But tomorrow night is all about Gil's goodbye. The episode gives him time to have sentimental moments with the original cast and has an ending that I'm sure will be divisive.  I loved it (I bet you can guess why), but I know many of you won't be pleased.

This is my kind of character goodbye. When a show ends I like to think of the characters going forward happily just without us there to watch their every move (that's why, in my mind, the Bluth family is still running the banana stand, Angel is still fighting the good fight and Veronica Mars is still solving crimes) and that's kind of what happens with Gil. He's not dying. He's not sick. He wasn't fired. He's leaving the job on his own terms -- like many of us do in life.

Like I've said all along, I'm not sure how the show will fare without him. Even though it's a procedural drama, Grissom is the one all the other characters flitted around. I'll definitely be tuning in next week to see how everyone does without him.

After you've watched this week's episode of CSI, let me know what you think and post your comments below.

United States of Tara

Alice Toni Collette stars as Tara Gregson in the new Showtime series United States of Tara, premiering Sunday at 10 p.m.  Collette, who I've liked since Muriel's Wedding, is pretty great as a mom with Dissociative Identity Disorder. It's a part that requires her to create four distinct and believable characters and Collette makes it look effortless.

John Corbett is pretty terrific as her understanding husband. Corbett is just a calming TV presence and that really works for his part here. The real breakout star is Keir Gilchrist as Tara's son, Marshall. Gilchrist's expressive, trusting face will definitely break your heart in some scenes.

Tara's entire family accepts her illness and everyone knows about it. That makes for a very interesting starting point for a TV series. The conceit of the show is that Tara has gone off her medications to address the core issues of what caused her to create these separate personalities. In a unique way, that also makes United States of Tara somewhat of a mystery. As viewers, we will go on Tara's journey with her -- trying to unravel her past and what happened to her.

I didn't love the first episode. The series definitely gets stronger as the episodes progress. So even if you don't love Sunday night's episode, keep tuning in. I have a feeling the show is going to take us on quite a wonderful ride. Four stars.

Various TV Updates

No need to get stressed out about Bones time slot change just yet. FOX has moved the episode that was supposed to air tomorrow night to next Thursday, January 22.

We got to go to a party at the Peach Pit on Monday night and I asked executive producer Jeff Judah about Luke Perry being on 90210. (Because remember I believe I can make this happen by the sheer force of my will. I'm working that whole Oprah/The Secret thing to bring Dylan back to 90210). Judah didn't have an update on that but he did tell me the writers of the show were actually divided 50/50 -- with half of the writers wanting Dylan to be the father of Kelly's baby and half of the writers wanting Brandon. It's good to know that all these years later the debate rages on.  Matt Lanter, Horace on Commander in Chief and Brody on Heroes, joins the cast soon as the zip code's latest bad boy.

Lisaedelstein2_house_s4_240 I had a great talk with Lisa Edelstein, Cuddy on House, and she's excited for her character to pursue a romance with House. So I guess if the actress who plays Cuddy is open to it, perhaps I should be too.

You can get a peak at next week's episode of Privileged featuring a cameo by Pete Wentz by clicking here.

And I'm hearing that the Gossip Girl spin-off will be about Lily's teenage years in the 1980s. The pilot episode will air as an episode of Gossip Girl on May 11. I kind of love this idea. How about you?

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Carlypope_dirt_s1_240 There was a slew of familiar faces kicking off another long day for Jack Bauer. Bob Gunton was Presidential advisor Ethan Kanin. Jeanine recognized him as Junction Jack on Greg the Bunny. He was also Noah Taylor, the father of Mike's old girlfriend, on Desperate Housewives. Danielle recognized Rhys Coiro, Billy Walsh on Entourage, as FBI computer tech Sean Hillinger. Valerie remembered John Billingsley, Michael Lantham on 24, as Mike Spencer on True Blood. Among his many roles, we also remember him as Egan Foote on The Nine and Terrence Steadman during the first season of Prison Break. Valerie also wanted to make sure I remind everyone that Carly Pope, the President's son's fiancee on 24, was Sam on Popular and Garbo on Dirt. Jeffrey Nordling was FBI boss Larry Moss. I always remember Nordling as Jake on Once & Again. He was also Brent on Dirt.

Dennis recognized Christina Pickles as society diva Mrs. Bennington on Privileged. Pickles was Ross and Monica's mom Judy Geller on Friends. Dennis also caught Eliza Coupe as the new intern Denise on Scrubs. Coupe was Todd's girlfriend Willow on Samantha Who?

Shawn recognized David Eigenberg, Steve from Sex & the City, as Nathan the TV station manager on Cold Case.

Dennis recognized Justina Machado as the undercover cop flirting with Morris on ER. Machado was Vanessa on Six Feet Under and Betty's cousin Clara on Ugly Betty

Perreyreeves_13thsag07_240 Perrey Reeves was the "are you kidding me" patient on Grey's Anatomy. She's Mrs. Ari on Entourage. Jessica Capshaw is the new surgeon Dr. Arizona on Grey's. She was Jamie Stringer on The Practice and Nadia on The L Word.

That's all for today. Sorry this post is up so late. It was me versus the Internet connection at the hotel all day and the Internet connection was winning most of the time.  I'm travelling home from the Television Critics Association press tour at the end of the week so I won't have a post on Friday but I will be back next week to talk about the season premiere of Lost (hooray) and the new series Lie to Me. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at amytvgal@zap2it.com. Talk to you on Monday.

Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal