Is David Caruso Too Good to be True?

That red-haired guy and CSI: Miami put us back on the media map

So somehow, almost magically, the show has captured Miami's modern essence, its real-life bizarre plot lines -- planes down in the Glades, Colombian necklace bombings, bodies in sharks, and the whole "wet foot/dry foot" immigration debate -- but in a straightforward, thoughtful way that for the first time since Miami Vice doesn't mock the city. Its creators want to promote deliberation and discussion, without taking easy "moral" sides. Which is another reason, Zuiker concludes, why Caruso -- who has given so much thought to Miami, Caine, and the dilemma of real vs. fictional evil -- has proved so critical to CSI: Miami's success.

Despite industry rumors that Jimmy Smits, the actor who successfully replaced Caruso at NYPD Blue, has been hanging around the set as a kind of cautionary reminder that egotism doesn't pay, Zuiker says reassuringly: "I wouldn't trade [David] for any actor on the planet."

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