The second of two spin-offs launched by the hugely popular television series C.S.I. - CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, C.S.I. - NEW YORK distinguishes itself with an even darker, grittier tone than either of its predecessors by grounding the action in the gloomy aftermath of post-9/11 New York. The always brilliant Gary Sinise anchors the series as sternly professional former-Marine police detective Mac Taylor, whose stoic exterior masks the pain of losing his wife in the World Trade Center attacks. Taylor's forensics team includes his tough-as-nails partner, Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes); the sexy but street-smart investigator Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito); no-nonsense tough guy Don Flack (Eddie Cahill); smart-aleck detective Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo); and the briskly efficient coroner, Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper). Bathed in sombre, blue-tinged cinematography, the spin-off emphasizes well-drawn character development without sacrificing any of the grisly criminal and scientific elements that made its parent show such a smashing success.