‘CSI,’ ‘Men’ writers eye switch

Lorre serious about scribe swap

“Two and a Half Men” co-creator Chuck Lorre is serious — for once — about a proposed writer swap between two CBS stalwarts: his hit Monday-night comedy and the network’s flagship crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

“CSI” exec producer Carol Mendelsohn spilled the beans about the idea at the Banff TV festival Tuesday, and Lorre — reached the following day — acknowledged having floated the concept of letting the two writing staffs take a whack at each other’s shows a few months ago.

CBS has yet to sign off on the possible “trading episodes” exercise, and the logistics haven’t been worked out. Still, just as Mendelsohn said she was open to trying it, Lorre — a self-proclaimed “CSI” fan — said, “It’s baffling and intriguing what they do. It’d be an interesting challenge. … We’d write one of theirs, and they’d write one of ours.”

Since both shows feature self-contained episodes, ongoing storylines wouldn’t be a problem, and the two writing teams would support each other to prevent any significant continuity breaches.

Asked if a “CSI” penned by the staff of “Two and a Half Men” might have a higher-than-usual comedy quotient, Lorre added, “One would hope that we might be able to bend it a little bit, though not so much as to break it.”

Lorre attended the Banff fest, and said he and Mendelsohn discussed the swap again on the flight back. The only thing about which he currently has qualms, he said, is a proposal from those behind the forensic show that the “Men” writers view a real autopsy to prep them for their stab at “CSI.”

(Tamsen Tillson contributed to this report.)

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