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Cold Case Logo from 2003 - 2010

Cold Case cast

The cast of "Cold Case".

Cold Case was an hour-long crime drama that aired on the CBS network from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. It focused on a Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide squad that investigates murders that have gone unsolved for years, sometimes even decades.

On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that the series had been canceled after seven seasons.

The series focused largely on Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris) who was (until the third season) the squad's only female Homicide detective. Initially paired with Detective Chris Lassing (Justin Chambers) for the first few episiodes, her long-term partner has been Detective Scotty Valens (Danny Pino). The squad is commanded by Lieutenant John Stillman (John Finn) and includes Detectives Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford), Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), and, starting in the third season, Josie Sutton (Sarah Brown), who was replaced after a few episodes with Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms).


Episodes typically began with a flashback to a point several years earlier where the victim, and often other characters, are introduced and their situation is established. From there, the scene fades to sometime later, when the victim's body is shown with no one else present.

A contemporary police officer is usually shown filing a box of files pertaining to the unsolved case among several other boxes. In cases, where the body was never found the scene might show a Missing Persons report. The scene might also show a medical examiner's report if the death was thought to be an accident or suicide.

From there, the story shifts to the present, where new evidence (such as a newly discovered body, or new information from a witness) prompts the detectives to re-open the case.

Acquaintances of the victim are interviewed by detectives and recall their experiences with the victim which is then seen in flashbacks. Witness are often portayed by two guest actors: a younger one to appear in flashbacks when the victim was alive, and an older one to portray the character as they appear in the present (though some actors portray both versions of the character, depending on their age and if the case was recent enough).

Flashbacks typically employ popular music contemporary to the era and are shot in a way that is distinctly different visually from the scenes in the present. When the flashbacks are all viewed, the victim is usually shown having gone through some sort of character arc. When the killer's identity is revealed and confronted, their confession is shown through one final flashback revealing the circumstances of the victim's death.

The episode then ends with no dialogue, but rather one more piece of period music plays over a montage in which the killer is arrested; other witnesses are shown going on with their lives (both intercutting between their younger and older selves); one of the detectives is shown stacking the case box back with the other boxes, now with the word 'CLOSED' written on the lid; finally, one of the detectives (usually Lilly) or someone else close to the victim is shown seeing them apparently alive, well, and happy for just a moment, before they fade away, as though to suggest the victim can "move on", now that their murder has been solved. Since the show doesn't delve into the supernatural, it's generally assumed the victim's appearance at the end is more a figment of the other person's imagination.

Whether or not the show can be called a "procedural" is debatable. The show does not delve into the personal lives as much as some, such as NYPD Blue, but still more than others, such as Law & Order. Love interests for one character have sometimes been shown over several episode, and occasionally subplots onvolving a detective's personal life is shown, though invariably, the case shown in the episode takes precendence.


Main Cast[]

Major Recurring Cast[]

CSI: NY Crossover[]

On May 2, 2007, one of the Cold Case detectives made a rare appearance outside of the series. In the CSI: NY episode "Cold Reveal", Danny Pino appeared as his Cold Case character Scotty Valens as he traveled to New York when it was discovered that CSI Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) was connected to an unsolved case. The CSI shows and Cold Case all aired on CBS and were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. None of the characters from CSI, however, appeared on Cold Case.


Main article: Episode Guide


A Japanese remake of the series titled Cold Case - Door of Truth was broadcast from October 22, 2016 to December 24, 2016. The second season was aired in 2018, while the third season will be expected to air in the middle or the last quarter of 2020.

v - e - tCold Case Logo
Season 1
Look AgainGleenOur Boy Is BackChurchgoing PeopleThe RunnerLove Conquers AlA Time to HateFly AwaySherry Darlin'The HitchhikerHubrisGluedThe LetterThe Boy in the BoxDisco InfernoVolunteersThe Lost Soul of Herman LesterResolutionsLate ReturnsGreedMaternal InstinctsThe PlanLover's Lane
Season 2
The BadlandsFactory GirlsDanielaThe HouseWho's Your Daddy?The SleepoverIt's Raining MenRed GlareMind HuntersDiscretionBlank GenerationYo, AdrianTime To CrimeRevolutionWishingRevengeSchadenfreudeRavagedStrange FruitKensingtonCreatures Of The NightBest FriendsThe Woods
Season 3
FamilyThe PromiseBad NightColorsCommittedSaving Patrick BubleyStart UpHonorA Perfect DayFrank's Best8 YearsDetentionDebutDog Day AfternoonsSanctuaryOne NightSuperstarWillkommenBeautiful Little FoolDeath Penalty: Final AppealThe Hen HouseThe RiverJoseph
Season 4
RampageThe War at HomeSandhogsBaby BluesSaving SammyStaticThe KeyFirefliesLonely HeartsForever BlueThe Red and the BlueKnuckle UpBlackout8:03 AMBlood on the TracksThe Good-bye RoomShuffle, Ball ChangeA Dollar, A DreamOffenderStand Up and Holler •  TornCargoThe Good DeathStalker
Season 5
Thrill KillThat WomanRunning AroundDevil MusicThick as ThievesWunderkindWorld's EndIt Takes a VillageBoy CrazyJusticeFamily 8108SabotageSpidersAndy in C MinorThe RoadBad ReputationSlippingGhost of My Child
Season 6
Glory DaysTrue CallingWednesday's WomenRoller GirlShore LeaveThe DealerOne Small StepTriple ThreatPin Up GirlStreet MoneyWingsLotto FeverBreaking NewsThe Brush ManWitness ProtectionJackalsOfficer DownMind GamesLibertyvilleStealing HomeNovember 22ndThe Long Blue LineInto the Blue
Season 7
The CrossingHoodratsJurisprudenceSoulWASPDead HeatRead Between the LinesChinatownForensicsIcedThe Good SoldierThe Runaway BunnyBombersMetamorphosisTwo WeddingsOne FallFlashoverLast Drive-InBulletFree LoveAlmost ParadiseShattered