follows the same super-successful formula as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
. Fortunately, this instantly popular spin-off established its own unique identity from the start. Like Gil Grissom's motley crew, the Dade County criminalists of CSI: Miami
solve murders using forensic science. Unlike the Vegas crew, however, they're cops with the power to arrest, their coroner talks to dead people, and almost everybody speaks Spanish. Sometimes their crime scene is a swamp, sometimes a resort hotel. Either way, the skies are always sunny, the gators always biting. Real-life Florida resident David Caruso--playing Lt Horatio Caine, the head honcho--is joined by Khandi Alexander (NewsRadio
) as coroner Alexx Woods, Emily Procter (The West Wing
) as ballistics expert Calleigh Duquesne, Adam Rodriguez (Roswell
) as underwater recovery expert Eric Delko, and featured player Rory Cochrane (Dazed and Confused
) as Tim "Speed" Speedle--though Cochrane wouldn't become a full-fledged cast member until the 12th episode ("Entrance Wound"). Kim Delaney (Caruso's former NYPD Blue
cast mate) features in the first few episodes, but left after the tenth, reportedly due to a lack of chemistry with Caruso.
Just as CSI has made the most of its location with stories about showgirls and casino owners, so has CSI: Miami exploited its surroundings for all they're worth. Like its parent show, CSI: Miami quickly became a US ratings powerhouse and was followed by CSI: New York in 2004. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
First 12 episodes of the Miami-based crime series starring David Caruso as Lt Horatio Caine. In 'Golden Parachute', Caine's second-in-command, Megan Donner (Kim Delaney) returns to the C.S.I. unit after six months' bereavement following the death of her husband, in time to join the team in their investigations into a jet plane crash in the Everglades. In 'Losing Face', the team are on the case of a serial bomber. The attempt of two Cuban refugees to enter America ends in tragedy in 'Wet Foot/Dry Foot'. In 'Just One Kiss', two bodies found on a Miami beach lead to a secret at the heart of one of Florida's most prominent families. 'Ashes to Ashes' sees the team investigating the fatal shooting of a priest at his rectory. In 'Broken', a young girl is found dead in the toilets of an indoor amusement park. 'Breathless' sees the team digging through the evidence to find a motive after an exotic dancer is found dead after a sex party. In 'Slaughterhouse', an entire family are brutally murdered, apart from a toddler who survives the massacre - and the father, who is in hospital. In 'Kill Zone', a sniper opens fire on commuters during Miami's early-morning rush hour. In 'A Horrible Mind', the team investigate the murder of an eccentric college professor, whose body is found tied to a tree. In 'Camp Fear', a young model is found dead near a juvenile detention camp for girls. Finally, 'Entrance Wound' sees Horatio and his team investigating the stabbing of a prostitute at her beachside home.