William Petersen, <EM>CSI</EM> William Petersen, CSI

Instead of using "Who Are You" as its theme song this season, CSI producers might want to consider the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go."

In last spring's season finale, Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) was left trapped under a car in the Nevada desert by a serial killer — with pouring rain threatening to drown her — while Gil Grissom (William Petersen), her boyfriend and boss, and the rest of the CSIs frantically tried to find her. Sara's life hung in the balance because of the car — and the fact that Fox's contract with the CBS hit was up for renewal. So will she be sticking around?

Executive producer Naren Shankar's not telling. "Let's just say fans will be very satisfied with how it turns out," he says. "No loose ends will be left dangling at the end of the first episode."

Rumors have run rampant all summer about Sara's fate, and TV Guide reported that the show will add a new female character come Episode 3 who "may be a CSI or a lab tech," according to exec producer Carol Mendelsohn. She, too, won't say if Sara lives.

Shankar, though, is happy to talk about filming the scene in the Sept. 27 season-opener in which viewers will discover the truth. In the finale the killer had left a miniature version of the crime scene for Grissom. For the first episode of Season 8, set designers built a full-scale replica on the show's Hollywood soundstage, including everything from a car mounted on hydraulics to 28,000 gallons of water.

Shankar says there were moments when he wasn't sure Fox would make it through the filming. For a good portion of it, she was stuck under the car, surrounded by recirculated water, and Shankar says he got "a little nervous. Jorja was a total trouper and everything was designed for 100 percent safety, but when you're watching, you get a little knot in your stomach."

It may be nerve-racking, but even the CSI cast members who aren't in those scenes showed up to watch. "The actors were as impressed as anybody by what we built," Shankar says. "They came back from their time off and went, ‘Holy crap!' Everybody was pretty knocked out by this." It sounds like we will be, too.

Check out lots of CSI clips in our Online Video Guide.

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