April 4, 2006

‘CSI: Miami’ rockets Caruso to worldwide fame

By Scott Roxborough

CANNES (Holllywood Reporter) - Twelve years after his
ill-fated departure from "NYPD Blue," David Caruso can now
claim to be one of the biggest Hollywood stars in the world.

His sun-drenched crime drama "CSI: Miami" is a ratings
smash from Berlin to Bogota, from Paris to Pretoria. Outside
the United States, "CSI: Miami" tops "Lost," "Desperate
Housewives" and even the original "CSI" to rank as the
most-watched U.S. series around the world.

"In a funny way, we are more resonant in the foreign
markets than we are domestically," Caruso, 50, said in an
interview at the MIPTV market, where producers sell their wares
to foreign TV stations. "That's why I think it is very
important to come and connect with the journalists here and
viewers here because our relationship with the larger landscape
is here."

Indeed, "CSI: Miami" ranks No. 12 so far this season among
U.S. viewers aged 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research.
("American Idol" takes the top two spots, followed by
"Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI.") The drama
is currently in its fourth season.

Germany, Europe's largest TV market, provides a typical
example of how the "CSI: Miami" machine has conquered foreign
lands. The show launched to record ratings on cable channel Vox
in 2004 before being nabbed by Vox parent channel, and market
leader, RTL. "CSI: Miami" is now the No. 1 series in Germany.

Caruso said he is no longer chasing a dream of a film
career -- the reason for his sudden departure from "NYPD Blue"
in 1994 -- and that he would be happy to still be doing "CSI:
Miami" in five or 10 years time.

"I think I found my niche," Caruso said. "You say, well,
you'll be on the show for another five years. I don't see it
that way. I see it like, well, I get a chance to do my job for
as long as they let me on this show: the daily pursuit of the
scene. And that's what I got into this business for in the
first place."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter