How CSI: Vegas' Boss Views NBC's One Chicago Shows As Blueprint For The Future

csi vegas gil grissom and sara sidle cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

CSI: Vegas brought the CSI universe back to television for the first time since CSI: Cyber wrapped back in 2016, and brought original CSI stars back after that series ended in 2015. The television landscape is different in 2021 than it was during the original run of CSI, and shared TV universes are all the rage. Now, CSI creator and executive producer Anthony Zuiker has explained how the success of One Chicago over on NBC works as a blueprint for the CBS show moving forward. 

Between the Hodges mystery and the cases of the week, the stage is being set for a series that could well have what it takes to run beyond one season, and CSI: Vegas boss Anthony Zuiker is looking at NBC’s One Chicago – comprised of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire (which just hit its 200th episode), and Chicago P.D. – when it comes to the future. When asked if he could reveal the familiar faces from the CSI franchise he’d like to bring back for Vegas, Zuiker told ET:

No, I definitely can't mention names. But if I had to choose, it would be somebody from the original CSI cast to come back. That would be something I would definitely lobby for. And like I said, CSI's family, so all four of those shows are wide open for possibilities. You've seen Chicago Fire, Chicago Med. You've seen all that work. They've done a great job at NBC packaging those shows and keeping those shows on the air. There's no reason why we couldn't do the same thing.

The CSI franchise prior to the debut of CSI: Vegas was comprised of the original CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, and CSI: Cyber, so there is no shortage of characters for Vegas to potentially bring back, even though Anthony Zuiker has one particular person in mind already. And his mention of NBC’s Chicago shows proves that he’s keeping an eye on what works with audiences nowadays. 

Med, Fire, and P.D. regularly shared characters with each other prior to pandemic production complications over the past couple of seasons, and even now manage to deliver mini crossovers with the doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, and cops showing up on the turf of the others. Interestingly, Anthony Zuiker didn’t specifically mention Chicago P.D., while he did shout out Chicago Fire and Chicago Med. CSI: Vegas is actually up against Chicago P.D. in the 10 p.m. ET time slot on Wednesdays, so perhaps he’d rather not remind anybody about the popularity of P.D.!

And with good reason, if that’s at all why he didn’t mention Chicago P.D. Although CSI: Vegas premiered with solid ratings and audience size, it has been squarely behind Chicago P.D. in Live+Same day numbers in every week so far that they’ve gone head to head, and that’s not accounting for the delayed viewership in which Chicago P.D. routinely crushes many other scripted series. CSI: Vegas has consistently come out on top of ABC’s offering in the 10 p.m. ET time slot on Wednesdays, with A Million Little Things currently in its fourth season. Second place isn't bad for a show in its freshman season compared to P.D. in its ninth, of course. 

So, even if Anthony Zuiker would likely prefer if Chicago P.D. and CSI: Vegas could switch places in the ratings on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m., he sees the value in looking at Vegas doing the same sorts of things that have worked for the three shows of One Chicago. Could this mean a future of more CSI spinoffs, or other previous spinoffs coming back? Well, if NBC could use Law & Order: SVU to launch Law & Order: Organized Crime and bring back the original Law & Order, and with CBS putting plenty of support behind the NCIS and FBI shows, it’s hard to rule anything out. 

For now, fans can look forward to new episodes of CSI: Vegas on CBS on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, and hope that a Season 2 renewal is on the way in the not-too-distant-future. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.