CSI Cyber’s Shad Moss: “carrying on a TV legacy”

Shad Moss, CSI Cyber
Darren Michaels/CBS

It’s been a big week for fans of the long-running CSI franchise. Aside from news that CBS is pulling the plug on the original version of the show next year (a two-hour movie to wrap the 15 year run airs in September), the latest spinoff, CSI Cyber also celebrated a second season renewal. That means that come next television season, Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek, a newly instated Ted Danson and the rest of the Cyber crew will be responsible for carrying the sole remaining CSI torch.

That’s a task one CSI Cyber player, Shad Moss (Like Mike), is willing to undertake. The TV Junkies caught up with the musician-turned-actor ahead of Wednesday night’s two-hour season finale to get his take on continuing the franchise, whether he sees himself as CBS’s next LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles) and transitioning from Bow Wow.

The TV Junkies: You must look at your online habits differently now.

Shad Moss: Yeah, definitely. I just monitor what I do, security-wise. My passwords and make sure they’re a little bit more extreme and difficult than the usual things that I probably would think of for a password. And the way I use my camera phone for different things, me storing and saving the stuff in my phones. I like to move stuff, so for me I don’t keep anything too crazy in my devices because at any time I might drop my phone, leave it somewhere and then, you know, somebody could pick it up and hit the jackpot. But nobody is stepping in there–it makes me feel confident. Anytime my friends lose their phones, it’s crazy. I lose my phone, I’m like, I’m chilling. I’ll get a new one. I don’t got nothing in there.

TTVJ: Brody Nelson is hugely into tech–did you have an interest in that stuff before the show?

SM: Well I’ve always been like a tech geek, I’ve always played video games growing up and was always synching stuff up to the computer, wifi, setting stuff up. I’ve always been tech savvy, hooking up new TVs and all that. I’ve done that for all my life, so when it came down to the show, some things in the script were similar to me in real life and things and I understood very, very well. Those are things that I actually would do.

TTVJ: We’ve gotten to learn a lot about Nelson’s background this season, are you looking forward to more in Season 2?

SM: That’s the unique thing about this show; we showcase real life. It’s life outside of cyber, it’s life outside of the office and I think that a lot of cop shows, you watch these crime shows, you don’t get to see that. It’s usually about the case, and then solving it and then it’s done and onto next week’s episode. We want to make it real. We understand that people who work at the FBI or feds or whatever, they have lives outside of this. We all do. You have a life outside your workplace that you live and I do too. And we get a chance to show that.

What my character, I’m walking on a very, very thin piece of ice because there was a guy who was in the same position before me and he crossed the team. So anything that I do, it’s like I’m on pins and needles. But the thing about Nelson is he’s very loyal once he makes a decision, that’s what it is. And he clearly shows that path. So yeah…

Shad Moss, CSI Cyber
Neil Jacob /CBS

TTVJ: Is it fun to play that stuff with James Van Der Beek?

SM: Yeah. He’s hating on me all the time. But he’s worried about it because he’s seen the other guy come in and it cost them. So now he looks at me and he sees the same thing. So for him I really had to earn his trust throughout the season.

TTVJ: What was your first experience with the franchise?

SM: For me it was just the fact that when I got the call for the show. It was about carrying on a torch and carrying on a legacy. Each one has been a hit. Every one has been on the air for over seven years, so hopefully we can continue to do the exact same thing. We would love to do that. Now that we live in a tech-driven world it’s so relevant. We’re going to be talking about tech for the next 20 years. It’s going to keep evolving. We’ve been talking about tech since it began. The sky’s kind of the limit.

TTVJ: What do you think it is about CSI that’s make it so relevant over the years?

SM: It’s a staple; every year they know how to make great shows and they know how to make it look good. If you want quality, you want a great story and want to be entertained, that’s your show. I think they do a wonderful job of that. Once you present one project like that then you throw another one out there and people will gravitate. I’m just excited to be able to carry on the legacy and be a part of it.

TTVJ: What has it been like to transition from music into acting? You’re still making music, could some of it be featured on the show?

SM: I’ve definitely been in the studio recording a lot of records. We have four months before going back to film, so that’s the time. The fans want it, they’ve been asking me about it, so I’m going to go ahead and give it to them. I would love for my music to be on the show. Next season I’m aiming for that.

TTVJ: You have walked a similar path to fellow CBS star LL Cool J. Have you guys exchanged advice or anything?

SM: Yeah, I was at the Grammys, where me and L spoke. Anytime I see L we speak. There are so many similarities between him and myself. He started off young, he was a heartthrob. Myself, same thing. And now we both act, we host. So I’m always asking him, getting advice and he gave me his number. We’re actually supposed to do lunch soon. And it’s a pleasure and respect to be able to talk to guys like that and get that information. I’m always asking questions and he’s definitely a persona I idolize in a way.

TTVJ: Could you see yourself as the next LL Cool J?

SM: I would always want to be the next big thing of me being me, but I like the comparisons. But I want to be different than all of them. I want to be able to do the things they couldn’t do. I want to be able to do everything, but do it at a younger age. And start early and end early!


CSI Cyber wraps Wednesday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS and CTV.

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