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Marg Helgenberger was a primetime regular for more than a decade thanks to her role as Catherine Willows on CBS' long-running procedural CSI. Now the actress is poised to return to CBS on a brand new project that should take her in a very different direction than CSI ever did. Helgenberger landed a co-starring role on a legal drama pilot for CBS.
The legal drama pilot is called Courthouse and hails from Warner Bros. TV, and it follows a group of judges, assistant district attorneys, and public defenders. Their lives are "dedicated, chaotic, hopeful, and sometimes absurd," according to Deadline, as they work to bring justice to the people of Los Angeles, with the help of bailiffs, clerks, cops, and jurors.
Marg Helgenberger is on board to play a judge by the name of Judith. Something tells me she won't be going by "Judy," although I won't rule out some quips about Judge Judith/Judge Judy. Judith broke ground in California after she became a female judge. She began her career as distinctly progressive, but time has resulted in Judith becoming embedded in the establishment.
She has power and influence, and it is her job to watch over new judge Lola as she settles into her new job. Working with a young up-and-coming female judge helps her rediscover the passion for justice that brought her to the law in the first place. Marg Helgenberger joins a cast already comprised of Jessica Camacho, Wilson Bethel, and J. Alex Brinson.
Fans of CSI will undoubtedly be happy to see Marg Helgenberger back on the small screen if the Courthouse pilot scores a series order, though Judith sounds quite different from Catherine Willows. Sure, both women dedicated their careers to the pursuit of justice, but it's difficult to imagine Catherine as a longtime judge. It's way too soon to say much about Judith's backstory; I'm guessing it won't involve an origin as a stripper.
CBS has been the home of a number of Marg Helgenberger's projects, with the biggest of course being CSI. She appeared in more than 260 episodes of that series, along with the two-hour series finale. Following her departure from CSI as a regular in Season 12, Helgenberger appeared in Intelligence and Under the Dome, both on CBS.
Back in 2017, Marg Helgenberger was poised to switch networks and head over to Fox as part of a TV reboot of Behind Enemy Lines. That project never resulted in a series order; perhaps Helgenberger will have better luck with Courthouse. Only time will tell if the new project has what it takes to impress CBS and land the order for a first season.
If you're in the mood to see Marg Helgenberger in action sooner than whenever Courthouse might hit the airwaves, you can find the full series of CSI streaming on Hulu and CBS All Access. There are plenty of other options on the small screen now and in the not-too-distant future, if streaming isn't your style.