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A Dutch treat for 'CSI' fans

August 22, 2004|Christine N. Ziemba

"CSI," the CBS franchise that makes forensic science sexy, has developed a worldwide following with the Netherlands serving as its home base. Yes, the Netherlands.

To cater to "CSI"-philes who prefer one-stop-shopping for all the latest news, episode guides and spoilers about Gus Grissom and the gang in Las Vegas, Horatio Caine in Miami and Mac Taylor in the upcoming inaugural season of "CSI: New York," Christian Hohne Sparborth of Utrecht, Netherlands, has created www.csifiles.com.

The twentysomething Dutchman, who's in film school studying screenwriting and a staff writer on a Dutch nighttime soap opera, declares that "CSI" is extremely popular in his country.

"During the actual television season, 'CSI' is usually the third most popular drama in the country and the single most popular American show," Sparborth says via an e-mail. "It attracts about 1.8 million viewers, which is quite impressive in a country of 16 million people."

Sparborth built csifiles.com to serve as the complete "CSI" repository for fans because he found it "a shame that the biggest show on television had such a meager online representation."

The website averages 5,000 visitors per day, and its hits spiked recently when Jorja Fox and George Eads were fired then rehired from "CSI: Las Vegas." The editors were then again deluged with fan e-mail this month when a spoiler surfaced about a "CSI: Miami" cast member leaving for good.

To help the forensic franchise's longevity, Sparborth hopes that the shows can find ways to differentiate themselves from one another.

"CBS needs to make sure that the franchise is not spread too thin," he says. "[But] if they do go on with a fourth 'CSI' spinoff, I wouldn't mind a 'CSI: Amsterdam.'

"In fact, I know just the right person to write that show."

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