The CSI revival series CSI: Vegas has cast three of its lead stars with Paula Newsome (Barry), Matt Lauria (Kingdom), and Mel Rodriguez (Better Call Saul) joining the project. As Vegas serves as a sequel to the original CSI series, it will return the franchise to where it all began. Per Deadline, Vegas follows a brilliant team of forensic investigators who must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City.
William Petersen and Jorja Fox are also said to be finalizing their deals to reprise their respective roles as fan favorite characters Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle. While it hasn't yet officially been greenlit, the series is reportedly nearing a straight-to-series order at CBS. It is being billed as a limited event series, but writer Jason Tracey (Elementary) tells Deadline that CSI: Vegas could become an ongoing series with multiple seasons if the series performs well with viewers.
Some details on the new characters to the CSI franchise have also been revealed. Deadline reports that Newsome will play Maxine, the new head of the Vegas Crime Lab. She is described as a former basketball coach and a top-flight scientist and a leader in the field of genetics. Recently divorced, she struggles with her son's opioid addiction.
Lauria previously played a different character, Agent Matthew Pratt, in the previous iteration fo CSI. Now, he will reportedly play an original character named Josh, a Level III CSI described as the "lead investigator on cases, and has a knack for crime scene reconstruction. Vegas born and bred, he comes from a family of small-time crooks and scammers."
As for Rodriguez, word is he will play the part of Hugo, a man who took over as Head Medical Examiner in the department three years prior. The character has an "endless fascination with the bodies that find their way onto his slab, and the morgue is his happy place." Like Lauria, Rodriguez previously appeared in the franchise as a man named Al in an episode of CSI: NY.
Writer Jason Tracey executive produces CSI: Vegas alongside Jerry Bruckheimer TV's Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, and KristieAnneReed as well as CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker and franchise star Craig O'Neill (CSI: Cyber). Petersen is also expected to return as an executive producer alongside producing partner Cynthia Chvatal.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ran for 15 seasons between 2000 and 2015. Along with Petersen and Fox, the original series starred Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Ted Danson, Laurence Fishburne, and Elisabeth Shue. The character-driven drama follows a team of crime scene investigators working with the Las Vegas Police Department to use forensic science to solve murders. The highly-successful series spawned an entire franchise, with other shows including CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, and CSI: Cyber.
As CSI launched a billion dollar franchise, it's not surprising to see the franchise making a return with the hopes of replicating some of the success of the original. With Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle potentially returning to work with the new investigators, CBS is hoping for old fans to turn out while simultaneously attracting new fans to the franchise with a fresh iteration. This news comes to us from Deadline.