So, this is it. CBS, a chronic offender in canceling good dramas young and old, has nixed CSI: Cyber after its sophomore season. And thus ends the long-running, beloved CSI franchise, according to several published reports.
While I did not watch the first shows in the franchise — the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY — I did watch the last and final incarnation. This smart show, starring Patricia Arquette, Ted Danson and James Van Der Beek, covered high-tech crimes that could happen in our modern world, no matter how far-fetched they may seem on the show at times. Plotlines included perps who shut down subway systems and a hospital as part of a murder plot. The FBI agents raced against the clock to find the offender before anyone else got hurt.
The talented and gorgeous Arquette anchored the show with her bold, tenacious but gentle character, head honcho Avery Ryan. Oscar winner Arquette has the sort of fan base that would attract devotees, myself included, to a new show simply because she stars in it. Arquette also deserved to star in a new show after her successful seven-season run as Allison DuBois on Medium, which started on NBC and moved to CBS for its last two years.
Though I may not have gotten around to regularly watching the earlier CSI shows, I certainly respect the franchise as a pop culture phenomenon that lasted 16 years overall. Shows don’t last that long without a lot of fans and a lot of virtues. The CSI shows gave viewers a behind-the-scenes view, though fictionalized, of how law enforcement examines little details like DNA evidence in order to solve a murder. Surely the episodes could be fascinating.
Now, CBS had a grand opportunity to continue the franchise with an ultramodern incarnation in CSI: Cyber.
Unfortunately, CBS chose to kill CSI: Cyber. The network is responsible for the final CSI victim: the show itself. And it may as well just end the series, because you can’t replace or equal the CSI: Cyber cast.
That is a shame. May this iconic series go down in television’s hall of fame, and may Arquette soon find another good series in which she can star.