TVLine has learned exclusively that the fan fave — who departed the series midway through Season 12 — will reprise her role as Catherine Willows in the CBS procedural’s landmark 300th episode.
“We were just really excited to have Marg come back because, obviously, she’s such an important part of the history of CSI,” executive producer Don McGill shares. “And she was super excited. It was kismet!”
The milestone hour, airing later this fall, centers on a fictional cold case, one that “takes our characters back to the beginning,” McGill reveals. “They have to investigate a murder with the same M.O. and the same suspect from 14 years ago.”
Helgenberger’s return comes partly via a series of recreated flashbacks, or “faux-backs,” as McGill calls them. Explains the EP: “We will flash back 14 years to seminal moments that show Catherine, Nick (George Eads), Sara (Jorja Fox), Greg (Eric Szmanda) and Ecklie (Marc Vann) as they were, [and how that] informed the evolution of the characters now. It’s going to be a really fun episode, very emotional, that honors 14 years of CSI.”
UPDATE: Not long after TVLine broke the news, Helgenberger celebrated by tweeting a “reunion” photo:
The actress next co-stars opposite Lost‘s Josh Holloway in CBS’ midseason drama Intelligence.
CSI launches its 14th season Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c.