Lee Arohnson, Chuck Lorre, William Petersen by Monty Brinton/CBS Lee Arohnson, Chuck Lorre, William Petersen by Monty Brinton/CBS

The May 8 CSI (9 pm/ET, CBS) is all about rubber chicken - and not the kind they serve at Vegas conventions. In an unusual crossover, Two and a Half Men creators Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn and their writing staff penned the script for the episode. "It's called 'Two and a Half Deaths,'" reveals CSI executive producer Naren Shankar (who returned the favor by cowriting the murder-themed May 5 episode of Men). "And a rubber chicken figures prominently."

The story revolves around the death of a sitcom diva, played by Katey Sagal, who's so hated by her coworkers that when she turns up dead, everyone's a suspect. "It's more a case of who didn't do it than a
whodunit," says executive producer Carol Mendelsohn.

CSI is usually dark and bizarre, but this one promises to be "laugh-out-loud funny," according to Mendelsohn. "It's a murder mystery in the style of the great Columbo and classic detective shows that we all know and love," she says. "It combines the wit and insight of Chuck Lorre but with the style and coolness
of CSI."

As for the rumors that Lorre and Co. based their CSI characters on real Hollywood stars - like Cybill Shepherd and Brett Butler, with whom they worked on sitcoms in the '90s - Shankar insists, "Nope! Not at all. It's not based on anybody in any legally actionable sense." - Zoë Alexander