Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: CSI NY - The Complete Third Season (Oct. 9); Week 2 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Start spreading the news, we're bringing you another special Sunday mini-DVD review! If you are looking for our weekly sitcom ratings, you'll still find that today, but it will be below this. Today we take a look at CBS DVD/Paramount's CSI NY: The Complete Third Season. CSI NY, the third incarnation of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise and the spin-off of CSI: Miami, is a crime drama about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in The Big Apple. See my mini-DVD review of CSI NY: The Complete Third Season:

CSI NY: The Complete Third Season

CSI NY: The Complete Third Season (CBS DVD/Paramount, $64.99) - The crimes are more brutal. The evidence is more baffling. And every killer wants to get away with murder. This season, Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) and his dedicated Forensics Team must fight harder than ever for the truth. CSI: NY Season 3 takes the drama and danger to the next level as the brilliant criminalists risk everything in the quest for justice.

This 6-disc set contains all 24 episodes of the third (2006-07) season. The episodes are presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) with Dolby Digital Digital 5.1 Surround or Spanish Stereo. It has a running time of 16 hours, 59 minutes. Notable season 3 guest stars included Edward Furlong, The Suicide Girls, Stacy Haiduk, Sasha Cohen, Marlee Matlin, Judd Nelson, Criss Angel, Joey Lawrence, Amy Davidson, John McEnroe and Nelly Furtado. Packaging is very attractive and similar to what they used for the second season. The embossed, holofoil outer slipcase features a photo of Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise and the show logo. The inside case is in a book format that you can clip through to get to the discs. There are four clear trays that hold the discs. Two of the trays are double-sided. Inside the case, there is a content locator that lists the episodes and special features by disc. Each disc features the show logo, two different cast members and the episode titles.

Once again, the menus are very stylish and easy to navigate. A series of video clips leads to the animated anamorphic widescreen menus. Some of composer Bill Brown's great music is played in the background. At the bottom of the screen, there are options for "Episode Selection," "Set Up," and "Previews" (only on disc 1). The featurettes are also listed on their respective disc. There is no notation on the menus of which episodes have audio commentaries. You have to select an episode and play the commentary from there. On the Set Up Menu, you can choose either the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or EspaƱol. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. Like all of the other CSI shows, it is incredbily well shot and lit. While most of it is shot in Los Angeles, the exterior shots of the city really enhance the show. They even occasionally shoot some scenes on location in New York. The episodes are presented in the order of their original airdates. Quite a bit of a music is used in the series. Fortunately, there is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of it had to be replaced. The running times vary greatly from 41 to 44 minutes in length, but that is how they originally aired.

Another decent amount and mix of special features are included on this set. There are 4 audio commentaries available on the first three discs. Four featurettes are spread out on discs 1, 2, 3 and 6. Discs 4 and 5 feature only the episodes. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to listen to any of the commentaries yet, but I'm sure they offer a lot interesting behind-the-scenes and trivia like last season's commentaries. There is one less commentary on this set than in season 2. It would have been great to have a few more, especially on some of the better episodes that were later in the year like the season finale. I'll break down the special features by disc.

Disc 1
Audio Commentary on "Not What It Looks Like" by Writer Pam Veasey, Writer Peter Lenkov and Director Duane Clark

Disc 1
Special Feature: "Breaking the Killer Code" (12:36) - This featurette includes interviews with CSI franchise creator Anthony E. Zuiker, Co-Founder Edoc Laundry Dawne Weisman, Writer Zachary Reiter, Melina Kanakarades, Gary Sinise, Edward Furlong, Maddy Curley, Director Anthony Hemmingway, Special Effects Make Up John Loodvin, Eddie Cahill, and Co-Founder/Art Director of Edoc Laundry Shane Small. The focus here is on the episode "Hung Out To Dry" and the character of Shane Casey. The storyline was continued in "Raising Shane." Topics covered include how they got the idea of the episode, the hidden codes in t-shirts, how they shot the scene of the headless girl hanging from the ceiling, and the design of the t-shirts. Video clips from the episode are mixed with some behind-the-scenes shots and the interviews. This was one of the most fascinating and gruesome episodes of the season.

Disc 2
Audio Commentary on "Oedipus Hex" by CSI Creator/Writer Anthony E. Zuiker and Missy Suicide (Founder of the Suicide Girls)

Disc 2
Audio Commentary on "Consequences" by Pam Veasey and Actor Eddie Cahill

Disc 2
Special Feature: "The Suicide Girls Rock CSI:NY" (11:34) - This featurette includes interviews with Missy Suicide, Fractal Suicide, Zoli Suicide, Razzi Suicide, Sawa Suicide, Nixon Suicide, Razzi Suicide, Sawa Suicide, Al Suicide, Amina Munster, Anthony E. Zuiker, Director Scott Lautanen, Asst. Director Lawrence, M. Wagner, Allison Miller (Omen) and Tattoo Artist Tim Kern. They appeared in the episode "Oedipus Hex." Topics include intros/profiles of the Suicide Girls, the production of the episode, and the shooting of the scene where the blood falls on them on stage. There are a few nearly nude photos of the girls. There is a disclaimer at the start of the special featurette that some material may not be suitable for all viewers.

Disc 3
Audio Commentary on "Silent Night" by Writers Peter Lenkov and Sam (Samantha) Humphrey

Disc 3
Special Feature: "The Making of 'Silent Night'" (8:25) - This featurette includes interviews with Anthony E. Zuiker, Sasha Cohen, Marlee Matlin, Co-Writer Samantha Humphrey, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Gary Sinise, Eddie Cahill and Hill Harper. They talk about casting Sasha Cohen, working with the signing actors, and the production of the episode. One of the cast members identifed this episode as one of their favorites. Sasha Cohen was very good in her first episodic television appearance. She will have a bright future, as she continues to gain experience.

Disc 6
Special Feature: "Hill Harper Explores The Body Farm" - Hill Harper visits the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center. Rebecca Wilson is his tour guide. As the narrator, Hill provides some background details on the center, and then the tour begins. A number of interesting facts about the center are shown on the screen, as they move from scene to scene and discuss what they are seeing. He asks a lot interesting questionsm and the tour guide provides a lot of detail. With his job on the show, he is obviously very familiar with the terminology and this seems to be stuff that he has seen before. A disclaimer is shown before the featuette that states it contains grapic images that may not be suitable for all audiences. A lot of maggots and parts of bodies are shown in various degrees of decomposition. This isn't for the squeamish.

Previews - A number of previews for other CBS DVD releases are found on disc 1.

Finally, there is a bonus disc for the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Hard Evidence" PC CD-Rom game. This is a playable demo for Windows 2000/XP/Vista only. It is rated "M" for blood and gore, sexual themes and violence.

This is another solid season and release in the CSI franchise. Some stand-out episodes this season were "Hung Out To Dry," "Raising Shane," "Sleight Out of Hand," and "Snow Day." Unfortunately, there is no commentary or special feature on the season finale, "Snow Day," which is probably the most gripping and intense hour they've ever done. Although the amount of special features have decreased with every release, there is still a decent amount and all fans of the series should enjoy these well-produced featurettes. Some are a bit light-hearted like the profile of the Suicide Girls, but others are more serious in tone. Hill Harper's visit to the "Body Farm" was the most interesting to me. This just proves one thing to me that I've known for a long time. While I enjoy watching forensics shows on TV, I could never do it for a living. I have a lot of admiration for what the forensics experts do to help solve crimes. Watch the fourth season of CSI: NY on Wednesday nights on CBS at 10PM ET/PT!

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CBS. Website
CSI: NY TV.com Page
CSI: NY IMDB.com Page


Week 2 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: ABC: 8.7/13.8; CBS: 8.2/13.0; NBC: 5.8/9.2; Fox: 5.1/7.8; The CW: 2.1/3.2; MNT: 0.6/0.9.
Total Viewers: ABC: 13.12 million; CBS: 12.97 million; NBC: 9.25 million; Fox: 8.14 million; The CW: 3.2 million; MNT: 0.81 million.
Adults 18-49: ABC: 4.3/11.3; CBS: 3.8/10.1; NBC: 3.7/9.6; Fox: 3.1/8.0; The CW: 1.4/3.7; MNT: 0.3/0.8.

Analysis: It's week two time for the 2007-08 season. Week 1 saw ABC win in HH, viewers and tied with NBC in 18-49 (thanks to a new Nielsen ruling NBC pulled with Heroes). Through the first four days, ABC has the lead in all categories again in week 2, with CBS second, NBC in third and Fox in fourth. NBC's Heroes will not be encoring this week, so no tricks.
Monday it was all ABC thanks to Dancing with the Stars. A special two-hour performance show did an impressive 20.21 million and a 5.2/13 in 18-49, a tad down from the previous week. The Bachelor followed with 8.85 million, down a tad from the previous week. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 8.5 million, down from the premiere by a million, but it built on How I Met Your Mother's 7.87 million, it'll need to do build all the time to survive. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement followed with decent numbers (13.24 and 10.09 million). Men was on par with the previous week, but Rules was down over 2 million from the season premiere. CSI: Miami followed with 14.72 million, while that was down a bit from the previous week, it was still #1 at 10pm. NBC followed lead by Heroes, at 11.96 million and a 5.5 18-49, below its usual average. Chuck opened the night with a modest 8.39 million, down less than a million from the premiere. Journeyman closed the night with 8.23 million. Fox was a distant fourth with Prison Break continuing to fall (7.29 million) and the free falling K-Ville at just 5.36 million. The CW launched their Monday sitcoms, with Aliens in America doing just 2.34 million, but The Game closed the night at an impressive 2.98 million, the highest of the CW comedies.
Tuesday, it was a three network race, with ABC on top in HH, but CBS in viewers, and Fox in 18-49. ABC launched a new sitcom hour of Cavemen/Carpoolers doing decent at 9.19 and 9.06 million, Dancing with the Stars: The Results followed with 15.9 million saying goodbye to Albert Reed (surprisingly). Boston Legal closed the night with 10.43 million, up from the previous week's premiere. CBS won in viewers. The always reliable NCIS opened the night off with 16.42 million up almost 3 million from the premiere--impressive. The Unit followed with 11.31 million, up a tad from previous week, and week two of Cane did 9.19 million, down 2 million from the premiere. Fox won 18-49 thanks to House. 17.44 million tuned in and a 7.2/17 18-49 rating. Bones opened the night off with a third place 7.98 million finish. NBC was fourth with The Singing Bee at 6.61 million, The Biggest Loser 90-minute show doing 7.46 million, followed by the Law & Order: SVU at 11.62 million, but that was off by a lot from last year and the previous week. The CW got so-so numbers with Beauty & the Geek and Reaper...2.69 and 2.86 million.
Wednesday it was ABC with the series premiere of Pushing Daisies, doing 13.03 million, followed by Private Practice at 12.45 million and a first place 4.5/11 18-49 rating, Dirty Sexy Money followed with 9.61 and a 3.5 18-49, not down much from the premiere a. CBS was second for the night. Week three of Kid Nation plummeted to just 7.43 million for third place, but veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were consistent doing 14.56 (up 2 million from previous week and 12.69 million (down slightly from previous week). NBC opened the night with Deal or No Deal doing 11.17 million, followed by Bionic Woman at a third place 11.07 million and a big drop in 18-49 at a 4.1, down from the 5.7 rating for the premiere. At 10pm NBC aired Life's did 8.68 million, down from the premiere. Fox was fourth with the disappointing numbers for Back to You at 6.58 million 'Til Death was on par with the previous week's 6.2 million with 6.19 million this week. Kitchen Nightmares was up from 5.42 million the previous week to 6.22 million this week. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a decent 4.54 million, Gossip Girl did just 2.75 million.
Thursday it was CBS on top, but ABC was not far behind. CBS opened with Survivor: China at 14.14 million, exactly the same from the premiere. CSI followed with 20.97 million for first place, but down over 4 million from previous week. Without a Trace followed with 14.2 million, down over 2 million from previous week. ABC opened the night with Ugly Betty doing a solid 9.9 million, for second place, but down over a million from previous week. Grey's Anatomy followed with 18.51 million, down about 2 million from previous week's season premiere, though it did win in 18-49 with a 7.6/19 18-49 rating, for #1 for the week. Big Shots followed with a third place finish of 8.23 million...down nearly three million from the premiere, it needs to start going up now, or it will be in trouble. NBC was a distant third with its comedies My Name is Earl opened the night with 7.98 million, followed by the season premiere of 30 Rock with guest star Jerry Seinfeld doing 7.33 million. A one-hour The Office followed with 8.57 million, down from previous week's premiere by a million. ER closed the night with a tepid 9.09 million, down from previous week. Fox had a better Thursday than last week, but still fourth with 5th Grader doing just 8.63 million, up over a million from previous week. Don't Forget the Lyrics forgot the ratings again, with 5.74 million, up a bit from previous week. Smallville on The CW did 4.59 million, followed by the season premiere of Supernatural at just 2.97 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday, not with great numbers though. NBC was second, but it also was not so good, especially the season premiere of Friday Night Lights. ABC was a distant third and Fox again fourth.
Saturday numbers are not available yet. But it should be all low.
Tonight ABC Sunday should win the night, but CBS and NBC will be close, too. Fox will do well in young adults.
As for the week, ABC and CBS will battle in HH and viewers, with ABC a sure winner in 18-49. Friday and Saturday numbers were all low for all, but the big three will rebound tonight. NBC will pass CBS for second in 18-49 thanks to the NFL game tonight. Will it be a clean sweep for ABC again? We'll find out.

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of September 24-30)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 8.51 million for a new episode, down a million from the premiere the previous week. A repeat before that at 7:30 did 5.27 million.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) 2 episodes - 7.27 million for a new episode, drop of 1/2 million from the previous week, but better retention out of its lead-in. A repeat at 7pm did just 2.37 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A one-hour episode did 10.81 million the previous week, a half-hour episode did 7.98 million this week...a big drop, but that was expected.
  • American Dad (Fox) - The season premiere did just 6.07 million. Is this going to be its last season?

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season premiere the previous week did 8.12 million, this week it was down a bit to 7.87 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.52 million tuned in for the premiere the previous week, this week we saw 8.5 million, but it built on the lead-in in all categories for a good sign.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.24 million this week, on par with last week's 13.58 million.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 12.23 million tuned in the previous week, but with Stars at 2 hours tonight, this show got affected and did 10.09 million, a big drop from the previous week.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girfriends, The Game. Season premieres and the series premiere of Aliens did not so good, but The Game did decent and the best of the night at 2.98 million.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Cavemen (ABC) - All the new sitcoms on the big 4 have debuted just about the same. This one did a 6.1/10, 9.19 million and a 3.5/10 18-49. Not bad, but needs to retain most of that this week.
  • Carpoolers (ABC) - The surprisingly funny sitcom did surprisingly decent in its premiere. 5.9/9, 9.06 million, 3.5/9 18-49. Again, needs to retain most of that this coming week.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (Fox) - 3rd episode did 6.58 million, a drop from episode 2's 7.47 million. More concerning was the 2.4 18-49 rating.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - 6.19 million, on par with last week, but built on the lead-in 18-49 to a 2.5..
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 7.98 million tuned in for a half-hour episode, down from the 8.66 million for the one-hour premiere last week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - The season premiere with Jerry Seinfeld did decent with 7.33 million and a series best 3.4 18-49 rating.
  • The Office (NBC) - Another one-hour episode did 8.57 million, down from last week's 9.65 million.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox's animated comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Office, Big Bang Theory, Cavemen, and Carpoolers were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Rules of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother) or just plain old terrible (Aliens in America).