“CSI” premiered not long after the infamous trial involving the actor and former football standout O.J. Simpson. As Britannica notes, he was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995. The media attention surrounding the trial ultimately introduced forensic science into the mainstream lexicon, and this inspired the “CSI” creators to helm a procedural that stressed the importance of empirical evidence in police work.
The Simpson verdict remains a polarizing topic to this day, but it was truly heated in 1995. With that in mind, the “CSI” team wanted to address the cultural response to the case and highlight how to overcome perceived injustices. In an interview with Deadline, producer and executive Jonathan Littman recalled how “there was a lot of cynicism” towards the justice system following the Simpson case, as people felt the “right lawyer” could get anyone acquitted.
That said, the creators wanted “CSI” to show viewers that forensic science was the way forward. “[If] you have the right science, I don’t care who your lawyer is, the science will prove it if you are guilty,” Littman noted.