Zap2it: Having passed the 300th episode, what do you think the biggest effect of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” has been?
Paul Guilfoyle: A lot of elements of this show have affected court cases. They call it “the ‘CSI’ effect,” where everybody wants to see the CSI evidence; juries ask for it. There isn’t the kind of time or energy to solve something the way it’s solved on the show, and we’ve led the world to kind of believe we really can solve everything by waving magic wands over walls.
We look a little too adept at stuff that isn’t the case in real life, but I do think how “the ‘CSI’ effect” has worked on society is great. And in a business sense, the show resurrected Channel 5 in England (through its global success), and things like that give people jobs. It’s helped in lots of ways.
Zap2it: What’s personally significant to you about having reached 300 episodes?
Paul Guilfoyle: It’s nice to stop and smell the coffee in any kind of thing you do. I learned years ago that you sometimes have to give yourself a little pat on the back. It’s OK. I don’t want to get everybody thinking that we think we’re just so neat and great and groovy … but just for the human instinct, it’s occasionally nice to say, “Wow. Good for you.”
There are people who work longer than 14 years in a job, and really hard-core jobs like coal mining. It’s not necessarily the way the world works that everybody gets to have this kind of experience. It’s nice that there’s a certain quietness to it as well.