For 15 years, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation held down the fort as one of CBS’ strongest, most popular crime dramas. It spawned a multimedia franchise including three spin-off series, featured a rotating cast of talented TV thespians, got friggin’ Quentin Tarantino to guest-direct an episode, and renewed everyone’s interest in The Who. And now, per Variety, CBS is in talks to revive CSI for a new generation of TV fans.
The original series aired from 2000-2015, and focused on the members of the Las Vegas Crime Lab, who solved cases using radical forms of forensic technology. The original cast included William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Gary Dourdan, Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle, Robert David Hall, and Eric Szmanda. During the show’s run, stars like Ted Danson, Elizabeth Shue, and Laurence Fishburne also became series regulars. It was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It became a huge hit for the network, gaining enormous ratings and earning the record of the “most-watched show in the world.” Its spin-off series: CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, and CSI: Cyber also gained cultural attention and ratings success (particularly Miami, which arguably immortalized how pop culture views CSI).
Currently, the new series has no cast members attached — but Zuiker, Bruckheimer, and much of CSI‘s creative team are in talks with the network. Jason Tracey, who also wrote for CBS’ better-than-you’d-think Elementary, would write the script. And while many TV fans may poo-poo on the idea of reviving an antiquated formula like the “forensic scientists solve crimes procedurally,” especially with all this prestige TV to watch, the fact of the matter remains that CSI is wildly popular, comforting television — and if a revival can earn the same ratings and acclaim as, say, the Will & Grace revival, CBS will be very happy indeed.
For more on the series, check out our interview with CSI: Cyber star Patricia Arquette. Plus: If you’re fixing for a “unique CBS crime procedural” in the meantime, check out our review of Interrogation.