Michael Gross, Julian Sands

CBS's CSI, Criminal Minds and Person of Interest are bringing on some interesting guest stars this season. 

Michael Gross, who played Family Ties dad Steven Keaton, will play the president of the University where D.B. Russell's son is enrolled. "My son is on a basketball team and his coach is murdered," previews Ted Danson. "Then he gets involved in a triangle of sorts without even knowing it."

Meanwhile, Criminal Minds is welcoming a Designing Women favorite who hasn't been seen in some time. Meshach Taylor, who played Designing's lovable ex-con Anthony Bouvier, plays a homeless Vietnam vet who helps the team identify a killer.

"Meshach has been a friend of mine for 41 years," says Joe Mantegna, who pitched the idea along with his assistant. "We started our careers together back in the early '70s in the musical Hair. We're godfathers to each other's children." Mantegna says the November episode will explore his character's military past. Adds co-star Thomas Gibson, "We learn the two were old platoon buddies who lost touch with one another."

By the way, Gibson will direct this season's 15th episode, which finds J.J. (A.J. Cook) in peril when her character goes undercover. "It's going to be pretty badass," teases Cook.

And Person of Interest has found a villain in hunky English actor Julian Sands (24, Smallville). Sands will play Alistair, a diabolical international adversary who gives Reese a run for his money. So far Sands is only signed for one episode, but producers are hoping to bring him back for more. And the real-life wife of the Michael Emerson, True Blood's Carrie Preston, will also return as Finch's former fiancée, Grace, for a special episode that explores the romantic pasts of all the characters.

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