The original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has outlasted its Miami and New York editions. But a fourth edition is in the works at spinoff-happy CBS.
This time the subject is technology, as an FBI team led by Special Agent Avery Ryan tackles cybercrimes that "start in the mind, live online and play out into the real world," according to the network's description of the proposed series. The CSI team of producers, including Jerry Bruckheimer, is once again behind the project, along with Mary Aiken, whose work as a "cyberpsychologist" is said to have inspired the series.
As with spinoffs of other top series such as NCIS, a pilot for the potential series will air this spring as an episode of CSI. Casting has not been completed. And the network will decide by mid-May whether to order the series for next season.
CSI, a sleeper that premiered in 2000 and slowly built into a massive hit, has been a huge moneymaker for CBS, especially after ABC, which initially developed the project, backed out. The show performs reliably on Wednesdays, but its current audience of about 12 million viewers, including delayed viewing, is about one-third its 2004 peak. CSI: Miami, starring David Caruso, aired from 2002 to 2012, and CSI: NY, led by Gary Sinise, ran from 2004 until last February. CBS in March also will air a pilot for another proposed NCIS spinoff set in New Orleans.