On television and in the movies, crimes are always solved. Nothing is left uncertain. By the end, the viewer knows whodunit. In real life, on the other hand, many murders remain unsolved, and even some that are 'solved' to the satisfaction of the police and prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to result in a conviction.
'CSI' has not only remained a top-rated show through seven seasons; it has had real-world consequences. Police and prosecutors complain of a 'CSI' effect' that leads juries to demand more physical evidence than they used to expect. College officials use the same term to describe spiking enrollment in forensic-science programs.