Ted Danson Will Bring Phil Jackson Touch to ‘CSI’

His character is a Zen-like guy who finds a perfect balance between family time and murders

Last Updated: August 5, 2011 @ 1:11 PM

Ted Danson's "CSI" character will resemble newly retired NBA coach Phil Jackson in that the forensics guru who was raised by folk singers on a commune will try to restore balance to the Las Vegas crime-scene-scouring team.

But don't worry: The show will still have plenty of the hideous murders viewers love.

Danson's character, D.B. Russell, was introduced at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour with a clip in which he uses an invisible ball to draw out a child witness. Executive producer Carol Mendelsohn said it heralds a "lighter" season of "CSI."

"I'm a family man and I'm being brought in to make the team work as well as possible," said Danson, who compared Russell to Jackson, the Zen-like former Lakers coach who had a gift for managing big talents and big egos.

Marg Helgenberger said the upcoming 12th season will be her last on the show and added that Danson's addition will mean her character will be demoted from supervisor of the team. But her character will find him "endearing" nonetheless.

Russell's back story includes him traveling the country with his hippie parents. Mendelsohn described him as not so much home schooled as "van schooled."