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Another TV Gig for Tarantino: 'CSI'

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, February 25, 2005; Page C07

Call it "Kill Gil," the Hollywood Reporter said.

We wish.

Quentin Tarantino has signed to direct the season-ending episode of "CSI," CBS's high-rated drama. (Gary Hershorn -- Reuters)

Quentin Tarantino, director of the "Kill Bill" movies, has signed to direct the season finale of CBS's "CSI." Tarantino also came up with an original story for the episode, the trade paper reports, adding that he "has long been a fan" of the procedural crime drama about a forensics team led by Gil Grissom (William Petersen).

Tarantino "knows everything there is to know about 'CSI,' and he is into the whole mythology of 'CSI,' " according to executive producer Carol Mendelsohn, who reports that the show's staff is "positively giddy."

"CSI" has mythology? And we thought it just had an S&M fetish.

A Tarantino-directed finale is sure to drum up even more ratings for the country's most popular series -- a good thing for CBS, which is in a dead heat with Fox for the No. 1 spot this season among the 18-to-49-year-olds advertisers covet.

CBS actually is the last of the major broadcast networks to secure the services of Tarantino, who, by sheer coincidence, always find himself "into the whole mythology" of only the most popular shows on TV rather than, say, the really good but struggling series that might benefit enormously from his patronage -- shows like "Arrested Development" or "Committed." Okay, maybe not "Committed."

Instead, Tarantino buzzes around a series like NBC's "ER" in its superhit (read, George Clooney) days, getting a pot of publicity for directing an episode in '95. Last season he appeared on Fox's "American Idol," where it was reported that he was totally into the whole mythology; he did turn out to be one of the best and toughest guest judges on the singing competition. On ABC, Tarantino did an acting gig on "Alias" in its first, superhip season (and reprised the role two years later). Yes, one might say Tarantino was a publicity whore, if one hadn't been properly raised.

Anyway, the trade paper reports that the story for the "CSI" finale will involve a plot that finds one of the key members of the team in "serious jeopardy."

Mendelsohn said the show will have more "bugs and blood" for the Tarantino episode. Hopefully, this does not mean less time for all those kinky sex scenes that fans of "CSI" have come to know and love.

NBC has struck back at CBS for yanking original episodes out of the final Monday of the February ratings sweeps in order to use them the following week against the premiere of NBC's reality series "The Contender."

NBC is running promos for its new Monday show "Medium" saying, "This is your chance to catch Monday's hottest show because 'CSI: Miami' is a repeat." On the screen, the name "CSI: Miami" appears in a big red circle with a bar through it.

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