Ted Danson's joining 'CSI'

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Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis in "Bored to Death." HBO photo: Barry Wetcher

So Sam Malone's now a forensics whiz?

OK, make that Ted Danson, who'll be heading the crime lab on CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" starting this fall.

Chosen as the Big Name to replace the departing Laurence Fishburne, Danson, who in recent years has mixed it up with comedy (HBO's "Bored to Death" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm") and drama (FX's "Damages"), Danson might not have been CBS' first choice, according to Entertainment Weekly, which reports that "offers went out to actors like Tony Shaloub, Robin Williams and John Lithgow before the studio landed on Danson."

Whatever. Danson has a range that was only hinted at in his years on "Cheers," and I'd say that it'll be good to have him back on Thursday nights, except that "CSI" is moving to Wednesdays this fall. (CBS says he'll make his debut in the Sept. 21 Season 12 premiere.)

Best of all, he'll be continuing as a regular on "Bored to Death," according to CBS.