In just a few months, the networks will be cleaning house to make room for new programming next fall. One of the big shows that has already received notice for not being the ratings juggernaut it used to be is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Regardless, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker says he would not be pleased if CBS decided to drop the drama at the end of Season 15.
"I would not be satisfied [if season 15 was the end]. I think CSI should go as long as it wants to go. I feel like we have such amazing talent with Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue that it hopefully goes for a long, long time."
Clearly, Zuiker still believes in his show (especially the actors headlining the show) and thinks there are numerous plotlines that CSI has yet to explore. Here’s the thing, though. Ratings are down for CSI and the show routinely gets beaten by the various NCIS properties at this point. While CBS is trying to keep the CSI property viable by introducing us to CSI: Cyber this winter, the original CSI saw its episode order cut this season to make room for Cyber in the schedule. For the first time in 15 seasons, instead of 22 episodes, fans will only be getting 18 episodes of CSI.
To make matters worse, a couple of months ago, veteran actor George Eads announced he will be leaving the series at the end of the season. Eads was one of the actors who launched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation back in 2000. Eads is leaving following some on set drama that occurred during Season 14.
When a show is on the air for 15 years, casting changes are going to happen over and over again, but if you take into consideration ratings that continue to sag, an episode count that is not as high as it used to be and the exit of a main cast member, I would say CSI could definitely be looking more competitive at this point—especially on a network that has already renewed three freshman dramas and will need to make room in the schedule for new programming next fall.
Regardless, Zuiker seems ready and rearing to go. He told THR at the TCA Press Tour that the show is also trying to come up with a great pitch for Season 16 and that he’s hopeful CSI will come back.
"We're very grateful and blessed to go this far. We do the best we can and we hope that the powers that be say, 'Hey, come on back.'”
On his side is a long history at the network and a healthy DVR audience. We probably won’t know whether or not the show is returning until the spring, but this is certainly one of the most interesting shows to keep an eye on, ratings-wise, in the early part of 2015.
If you are interested in checking out CSI with Ted Danson, this season the show airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET.