CBS asks for more CSI, others

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[UPDATE] Added information on NCIS' return.

The network known as "The Eye" or "America's Most Watched Network" or "The House that CSI Built," (or to the layman, simply CBS), responded to the lifting of the writers' strike today by announcing that several of its programs would be returning with fresh episodes.

As expected, the network will first push out its half-hour comedies, with an "anticipated return" date of March 17. CBS is asking for nine new episodes each of Barney and the crew of How I Met Your Mother, the nerd-tastic The Big Bang Theory, and old reliable Two and a Half Men.

After that, it's on to the networks' fleet of crime procedurals, starting with David Caruso (and his sunglasses) returning to CSI: Miami on March 24. CBS is hoping for eight new episodes of the drama. Cold Case is scheduled to return with five new episodes starting on March 30, and Criminal Minds and the Gotham edition of CSI, CSI: NY, should return with seven new episodes apiece beginning April 2.

The vanilla CSI returns April 3 with its partner Without a Trace, and both are expected to come back with six new episodes. The following day, Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs return with the first of six new episodes. NCIS is returning April 8 with the first of seven new episodes.

The nocturnal types will be happy to hear that Moonlight, a new show about a private investigator who also happens to be a vampire, will arise on April 11 with four new episodes. The show's status wasn't certain, but CBS had asked for four new scripts back in October. The network still has not said whether the show will be back for a second season, but these new episodes have to be a good omen for the cult favorite.

Finally, Rules of Engagement and Shark will be back for six and four episodes, respectively, with Rules engaging on April 14 and Shark swimming at a to-be-announced date.

Along with Shark, The Unit and Cane will remain on hiatus to allow for the midseason launches of Jericho, Dexter, and Big Brother, says CBS. Swingtown, a drama which has yet to air, will resume production but has not yet been scheduled.

For the latest on the return dates of major-network shows (if they return at all), head over to TV.com's Strike Source feature.

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