Accidentally Correct Writing: Although the novels weren't true canon and some bits got invalidated by by later episodes, one of them got a tidbit right, having Mac recall that Claire liked opera. 'Indelible' reveals they were planning to go to one on 9/11 and Mac kept the tickets until the 10th anniversary.
Stella Bonasera, like Melina Kanakaredes, is of Greek descent.
Mac Taylor, like Gary Sinise, is a native of Chicago.
Danny Messer, like Carmine Giovinazzo, is from Staten Island.
...But I Play One on TV: Sinise related an incident where he was in a minor traffic accident and the other driver kept mixing him up with Mac Taylor.
The Cast Showoff: Several actors have had the chance to show off skills on-screen:
Sinise appeared with his Lt. Dan Band in "Stuck on You," and played bass again at the end of "Time's Up." The guitars he used are his own.
In "Tri-Borough," there's a scene at an art gallery. Flack makes a remark about the paintings not selling well, and Danny says, "Yeah, I can see why" while nodding his head toward one of the paintings. The one he's indicating was actually made by the actor who plays Danny, Carmine Giovinazzo.
Giovinazzo also has a band, Cesau, but it never appeared on the show.
Also, Danny's aborted baseball career was based on Carmine's own injury-aborted baseball dreams, and there was one ep where he showed off his pitching ability.
Danny's tattoo is also the actor's real one.
Several episodes also have Melina Kanakaredes showing off her knowledge of fluent Greek. (Her parents are Greek immigrants and she and her family often visit the country.)
"DOA for a Day." Upon locating their suspect, Mac & Flack discover that he's a triple amputee. The character is played by Brian Anderson, a veteran of the Iraqi war who lost his left hand and both legs to an IED. Anderson and Sinise became good friends during Anderson's hospitalization and recovery.
Not quite executive meddling but Melina Kanakaredes' departure in season 7 is due to a pay cut that CBS had to offer.
Friday Night Death Slot: Starting in season seven, CSI: NY aired Friday at 9pm Eastern. Season 9 was airing an hour earlier, at 8pm Eastern, then went back to its old 9pm Eastern slot after Made In Jersey got the ax. It lasted three seasons in the Friday slots.
Hide Your Pregnancy: When actress Anna Belknap, who plays Lindsay, became pregnant, they used the close-up method with varying success. The second time around, they wrote it into the storyline.
The Other Darrin: A variation of sorts. Mac's wife Claire was played by the same actress during both of her onscreen appearances (the flashbacks of 'Indelible' and Mac's Near-Death Experience in 'Near Death'), but the pictures of Claire that Mac showed Reed in season 4 were of a different woman. Probably justified, as the show makers couldn't know then that they'd need someone to actually play her onscreen down the road. Still, there's no excuse for her being brunette in the pics and reddish-blonde onscreen. The writers either forgot the pics, hoped the viewers forgot, or were just lazy.
Quietly Performing Sister Show: It was never as critically popular as the original CSI or as commercially popular as CSI: Miami, but it was still well-liked enough to chug along for nine seasons. It wasn't even the first in the franchise to be cancelled.
Reality Subtext: Lindsay getting pregnant was due to Anna Belknap's own pregnancy.
Trash the Set: "Snow Day." The place got shot up, soaked by sprinklers and then finally blown up by a pipe bomb. According to series creator Anthony Zuiker, Sinise jumped in between takes to help the crew squeegee the floor because three inches of water rained down every time, and he was having so much fun filming that he couldn't wait to get back at it. And this was around two or three in the morning.
Throw It In!: "'Til Death Do We Part." When Stella says "Best part of the job," and kisses Mac on the cheek. According to Melina Kanakaredes, while filming that scene, she just spontaneously kissed Gary Sinise and they decided to keep it in.
West Coast Team: Inverted (along w/ CSI: Miami of course) by spinning off to the east from Vegas.
After the show ended, one of the producers revealed there had been talk of hooking Mac up with Jo at the end. They thought about having him propose to her instead of Christine, and though they definitely wanted a wedding if they made 200 episodes, they weren't sure if Mac would marry Christine or if they'd do a fake out and reveal him to be marrying Jo instead. One does reason, though, that some events of season 9 might have been written differently if they'd gone with one of these. Alternately, they might've somehow written out Christine and had Mac and Jo pair up later on, if they'd had more seasons. Mild backlash has been generated by at least these things (particularly the idea of attempts to pair him up with Jo by ep 200, which would have only been three eps after the finale, if season 9 stayed as it was written).
Christine was originally conceived as someone Mac knew from his military days, but the writers probably realized it would have created a continuity problem with Mac's timeline since they still would have used the same character age for her that they did in the final scenario.
Also see Aborted Arc on the main page for info on the scrapped Mac/Aubrey/Peyton love triangle in season 6-7.
Everyone was to have had a day off episode, but Mac, Danny (who was to have his own along with the one of Lindsay's own despite their marriage), Hawkes and Sid never got one, perhaps due to the compressed season or a desire to do a crossover in hopes of boosting ratings at the last minute. Spoilers said Mac's would involve him taking a day off at Christine's urging, then getting stuck on a broken subway. It was announced as episode 15, but this episode later became the second half of the crossover with CSI.
Andy García and Ray Liotta were offered the Mac role, but turned it down. The character was named Rick Castelluci at that time; Gary Sinise convinced them to change it after taking the part.
Anthony Zuiker wanted "Behind Blue Eyes" as the show's theme.
Had the show been renewed for season ten, then Sheldon would've likely either been Put on a Bus or had a recurring role as his actor, Hill Harper, announced that he would depart to become a series regular in Covert Affairs.
Anthony E. Zuiker had three cities in mind when deciding where to set the third CSI series. The other two options? Chicago and New Orleans. The former is Mac's (and coincidentally Gary Sinise's) hometown, while the latter is where Stella goes after leaving New York.
Carmine Giovinazzo (Danny) and A.J. Buckley (Adam) appeared on CSI before becoming CSI NY regulars. Carmine's was a brief guest appearance, as a minor character called Thumpy G, and A.J. was the killer in his ep. Also, Alex Carter, Detctive Vartaan on the original series, was in one ep of this show.
Anna Belknap (Linsday Monroe-Messer) appeared on an episode of Without a Trace, which also takes place in the CSI universe.
The episode "All Access" had a website tie-in. Stella's psycho boyfriend used the website aresanob.com, and an ad at the end of the ep told viewers to visit the site to see what Stella saw. This was also the opening page of the site "Click here to see what Stella saw." The content after the click was the sex tape Frankie posted online and then an extended promo for the ep. (If you're hoping to check it out now, it's long gone; you'll get redirected to the CBS website.)
Stella's HIV scare was a project in collaboration with the website knowhivaids.org.
An actual dead body was found in one of the buildings used for filming, but it wasn't a murder case; rather, it was a long-dead tenant who got overlooked somehow. It bore similarities to the episode "Not What It Looks Like," but without the homicide aspect.
The season 9 finale "Today Is Life" was based on a real life incident in The '70s when a cop shot an unarmed man and a mob really did try to storm the precinct.
Mac reveals in season 9 that he can't recall the events leading up to his being shot, a type of amnesia that isn't uncommon in trauma patients. A few months after filming the season 8 finale, Gary Sinise suffered a similar memory loss to Mac's, minus the lingering speech aphasia, after being involved in a car accident that fortunately didn't severely injure him, but left him with a rather nasty concussion, along with a lot of bumps and bruises.
Mac's prowess at Asteroids is mentioned in episode 8.15, "Kill Screen." Sinise was quite the affectianado back in the day.
Lindsay Monroe/Messer's birthplace is possibly a left-over portion of the backstory of Catherine Willows from the original CSI. For a time, the official character bios on CBS's website listed Catherine as being from Bozeman, Montana, but that was scrapped sometime before the finalized version of her backstory was revealed onscreen.
The name "Lindsay" itself could be a nod to CSI as it's also Catherine Willow's daughter's name. "Ellie," Jo's daughter's name, could also be, as it's Jim Brass' daughter's name, too.
Although Christine's brother was Stan Whitney, that was apparently also the name of a minor character in "Charge of This Post" in season two. Despite the military backstory originally planned, there's no evidence he (the soldier who dies in Mac's arms in flashback) was going to be her brother.
All four male leads (Mac, Danny, Hawkes and Flack) appeared in every episode, while Stella appeared in every episode of the first six seasons, and Jo appeared in every episode of the remaining three.
Throughout the series, names of people close to Gary Sinise and names of previous characters he's played are used in episodes:
His wife, Moira's, maiden name of Harris shows up in several episodes as character last names ("Unusual Suspects" for one) as well as in names of businesses.
His oldest daughter's name, Sophie, is the name of the doll in episode 2.09, 'City of the Dolls.'
As noted elsewhere, "Mac" is his son's name as well as that of his brother-in-law whom his son was named after. Mac Taylor's father is named "McCanna Boyd" after the same gentleman. And "Taylor" came, also at Sinise's own suggestion, from Lt. Dan.
His youngest daughter's name, Ella, is used several times during the run, including as that of his Stalker with a Crush in season 5.
His mother's nickname, Millie, is used as Mac's mother's name in 'Blacklist.'
"McQuinn," the last name of his character in the Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie, Fallen Angel, is used in episode 3.07, 'Murder Sings the Blues,' as well as a few others. A shortened version, "Quinn," shows up fairly frequently as well. The phrase "fallen angel" is used in 'Death House' when Mac & Stella are discussing the floor puzzle.
"Austin," his character's name in True West, is used in episodes 3.18 and 4.16, "Sleight Out of Hand' and 'Right Next Door' (which is also a Danza as it's the first name of the young actor who plays the character in question, Stella's neighbor who accidentally sets her apartment on fire.)
"Redman," the last name of his character in the 1994 mini-series of Stephen King's The Stand, is the name of the family in episode 5.17, 'Green Piece.'
"Milton," the last name of his character in Of Mice & Men, is used in at least one episode.
Possibly a coincidence, but the father of the missing girl in episode 1.03, 'American Dreamers,' is named Bruno. Sinise played the police officer father of the titular character of the little known 2000 film, Bruno.