CSI: Vegas delivered a treat for longtime fans of the franchise when it debuted in 2021 by bringing back William Petersen and Jorja Fox to reprise their roles as Gil and Sara. Fans then got some bad news with the confirmation that neither star will be returning for Season 2, but now there's a silver lining to losing those two original series stars: another familiar face may be arriving if all goes well with negotiations. Marg Helgenberger is reportedly in talks to return to the franchise for the Vegas spinoff thanks to its renewal.
Marg Helgenberger, who played Catherine Willows, is said to be in early talks to join the second season of CSI: Vegas, according to TVLine. Helgenberger was actually a series regular on the original show for longer than William Petersen was, from Season 1 to Season 12. She returned briefly in Season 14 before coming back to appear in the finale. A return from Helgenberger could be a very big deal for the revival, and perhaps soothe the sting of losing Petersen and Fox (not to mention a CSI: Vegas newcomer) after just one season.
CBS has not commented on reports of negotiations with Marg Helgenberger regarding a return for CSI: Vegas Season 2, but bringing back Catherine does seem like it would be an ideal way to guarantee that the show work still works without Gil and Sara, with more ties to the beloved original series while still advancing the stories of new characters. Although she did not appear in the first season of the revival, she did get a mention in the premiere when Sara updated Jim Brass after his attack brought her back to Vegas. She said:
Brass then filled in the blanks a little bit more by mentioning that Catherine has "got a little grandbaby in Dublin." Now, assuming Brass meant Dublin, Ireland and not Dublin, Ohio, it would be interesting to see what would bring her to Las Vegas. The end of CSI: Vegas Season 1 teased the introduction of a madman of a new serial killer, but would that be enough to draw her back across the ocean?
Marg Helgenberger being in talks to return isn't a 100% guarantee that Catherine will be back, but fans have reason to be more optimistic than ever that the show will recruit another familiar face after losing the two former regulars who turned up for the revival spinoff. The show was originally billed as a limited series, and William Petersen only signed on for the initial ten episodes, although he's remaining on board as an executive producer.
Jorja Fox decided not to return for Season 2 to avoid splitting up Sara and Gil, so at least fans can take solace in the knowledge that the new episodes won't break up the long-running couple. If Marg Helgenberger is indeed back for Season 2, the loss of the duo might not pack quite as much of a punch.
Of course, viewers who are new to the franchise with the spinoff might be jarred by losing the two central figures of Season 1 and meeting a newcomer with a long history, but if it worked with Petersen and Fox, there's no reason why it wouldn't work with Helgenberger.
A big question is whether Catherine would be the only returning CSI star. She's not cemented as part of a pair as much as Gil and Sara, but I'm guessing that longtime fans would be happy to see just about any other familiar face, even if more of a recurring role like Wallace Langham as Hodges in Season 1.
For now, you can revisit the full run of the original CSI with a Paramount+ subscription. The streamer also offers the full first season of CSI: Vegas, as well as the CSI spinoffs, so be sure to check it out if you need a fix of crime scene investigation. For some more viewing options during the wait for CSI: Vegas Season 2, check out our 2022 TV schedule!
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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 and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).