News broke yesterday that Justin Bieber — tween heartthrob and A-List teenybopper — will be appearing as a guest star on an upcoming episode of CBS’ CSI. Bieber’s character, Jason McCann, is a “troubled teen who is faced with a terrible decision regarding his only brother,” according to a statement from the network.
All of which has me asking one question: Is this popular-with-adults crime drama trying to lure your kids? And is that really a bad thing?
Bieber’s casting is clearly a ploy to win a younger audience for CSI. My hunch is that it will work, for that single episode, at least. Any chance to see the Biebs in action draws a crowd (though will parents let their kids stay up past bedtime to watch CSI?). I’ll be curious to see ratings for the episode after it airs, but I definitely predict a spike.
Some kids may continue watching the show in the weeks that follow, and that’s not a bad thing. Sure, CSI can get racy, given its Las Vegas locale. Sex, drug, and heavy drinking often feature into the plots, and any show that hinges on solving murder cases includes a hefty dose of gore. But the show is also based on the idea that using logic and clues, cases can be solved. It’s a thinking-viewers’ series, and curious kids will get a kick out of it. To boot, in an effort to solve the cases along with the detectives, younger viewers may even find themselves using their brains and learning a thing or two about forensic science.