True to his word at the end of last season, Mac is taking some time off from the lab. CSI: NY's premiere (September 23 on CBS), which serves as a tribute to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, reveals that he's been working with retired fire chief Joe Vincent (Robert Forster).

"Robert's character lost a son on 9/11, so Mac [whose wife died on 9/11] and Joe have spent the last four months working on a project that is near and dear to both of their hearts," says exec producer Zachary Reiter, adding, "We wanted it to be simple and respectful, and I think we accomplished that."

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!