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'CSI' tapes off amusement park


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March 19, 2008

CBS is expanding the "CSI" franchise to a fourth location: Magic Mountain.

Eye's consumer-products division has struck a deal to create a live, interactive stage show that will play off the hit skein's science and mystery elements. Mad Science Prods. is behind the show, which will premiere June 14 at Six Flags Magic Mountainin, a theme park in the Los Angeles suburb Valencia.

Half-hour production will let audience members witness a fake crime, then guide them through the "whodunit" process by using the scientific techniques featured in the series. Parkgoers will act as witnesses, suspects and crime investigators.

"A lot of fans tune in because they love solving a mystery, and we saw this as an opportunity to let them really be involved in a case," said Liz Kalodner, exec VP-general manager of CBS Consumer Products.

"CSI: Live!," as the show is being dubbed, won't be as hardcore as the TV series.

"The crime will not be a murder," Kalodner said. "It will be a family-friendly show."

Stage show will be set in Las Vegas against the backdrop of the fictional Max Spade Magic Show. "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker has been consulted about the content of the show but isn't listed as a producer of any sort.

This isn't the first time CBS has taken "CSI" into the live-event arena. Last year, the net gave the OK to a "CSI"-themed museum exhibit that's still touring the country.

"CSI: Live!" will also make its way to other parts of the country, as well as Canada. After a summer stint at Magic Mountain, plans are under way to send the show on the road through at least 2010.

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