CBS Cancels CSI: Cyber and Kills a 16-Year Franchise

For the first time in 16 years, there will not be a version of CSI on CBS. The network has pulled the plug on the franchise's fourth installment, CSI: Cyber, after two abbreviated seasons, Deadline reports. Last fall, the original flagship series signed off after 15 seasons with a feature-length finale.

This means that people born in 2000 will finally get to experience what life is like without the billion-dollar franchise taking up real estate on their parents' DVRs. This also means that they may finally discover that The Who is one of the greatest bands of all time and not just identify their music as TV show theme songs! This is a historic moment in television history and one we should not just gloss over like any one of CSI: Cyber's silly episodes! 

But then again, CSI: Cyber was hardly worth talking about beyond its ridiculous episodic loglines. Its ratings were fairly steady, but they were also fairly low for a program on CBS; Season 2 averaged just 6.15 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic. 

Sorry, Elijah Mundo. You tried.

Will you miss CSI: Cyber? Do you miss old school CSI? Or are you dancing in the streets because CSI is finally dead (for now, until someone tries to reboot it in like, five years)?



Want to know the status of your favorite show? Stay up to date with the latest renewals and cancellations with TV.com's handy guide.


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Oct 20, 2016
CSI: Cyber will go down in history as yet another CBS programing blunder but not in the way that the author of the bad news or the people who have, over the run of the show, expressed various degrees of dislike. CSI:Cyber, died because networks offices are teeming with business majors who introduce poorly thought storylines into a show because they have convinced themselves in their echo chamber conference room that the idea will somehow make money even if it is a logical impossibility. The best and easiest example of the aforementioned phenomenon is the introduction of Edward Vogler, the pharmaceutical company billionaire, as a villain into a show named after the hero, Dr. Gregory House.

It wasn't hard to see that, in the end, House would come out on top, the show WAS ABOUT House! However, network overlords forced it on the producers because they could not imagine a show without simplistic, one dimensional characters, and a villain. Pathology and pathophysiology textbooks --even an introductory text-- are notorious for being very thick and expensive so they were not going to run out of potential stories even if the show ran for a hundred years. There is one catch, the show would progressively become more cerebral and demanding to watch. The producers would have had to look for actors, such as Pauley Perrette, with an education in the field. Since that was not going to happen, the show had to be dumbed down until the medicine became just a meaningless plot device.
There is one other* discipline with a demand for constant learning, a rapidly changing body of knowledge, and very thick --albeit, rapidly obsolescent -- texts: Computer Science. Within the field, securing the massive amounts of information and the gigantic technological infrastructure that underlies it, has become a prodigiously rapidly changing field, even by the standards of Computer Science.
CSI: Cyber would have been thrilling if a storyline was plausible because of the storyline rather than the potential outcomes; they were never going to loose. Story arcs might have tried to create the illusion that failure was possible; however, failure was not possible and the audience knew it. The problem, is that the possibility of failure is essential for the thrill of victory. For those old enough to remember ABC's Wide World of Sports, the images of "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" are deeply ingrained; they might even be old enough to remember CBS once cancelled the top three shows on television (The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction) because they did not want to be know as "the rural network"!
Bad management and usage of resources aside, CSI: Cyber faced an even more uphill battle than most people might have considered: beyond measuring up to a series that most have forgotten how incredibly innovative and groundbreaking it was when it first aired, it dealt with a subject matter lacking the visual shock factor of criminalistics. Moreover, while the original CSI could rely on the procedural to entice those knowledgeable in criminalistics or any of the number of scientific disciplines that underlie that field, Cyber could either tell good yarns that a knowledgable audience would appreciate and intimidate the rest or tell stories that would bore the sophisticated to tears but would progressively filter the audience until a hopelessly technologically unsophisticated audience that would inherently be of an undesirable advertising demographic would be all that remained. Naturally, the network chose to tie itself into a gordian knot and tried to split the difference; failure was inevitable.
It wasn't a bad idea, like the parent series, how something was done drove the story rather then the traditional whom. From the start, the producers must have known that any series based on computer crimes would lack the visual shock of the original CSI, the glamour and sex appeal of a vacation destination, or the inherent grittiness of the investigation of a crime in an old city and would have to rely on instilling a strong desire to know how something was done to keep its audience; even through an episode. The show would have attracted a large following of a desirable audience if it had been as compelling as the original but it would have taken a great deal of courage to green light a project that would be all but unwatchable to anyone past some age or without the education.
One last thing: in defense of Ms. Arquette and Mr. Danson, it is likely that the producers saw that Grissom's obscure facts, Horatio Caine's sunglasses of justice, and Mac Taylor's dark focus, were fan favorites and probably made both of them watch hours of videos focused on the character quirks they wanted to keep starting with the taciturn and isolated genius.


*There are many others that meet the criteria presented; however, here, the phrase serves as a rhetorical device rather than a statement of fact.
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Sep 24, 2016
They lost it when they cancelled CSI Miami. Best of all CSI series
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Jul 24, 2016
I enjoy all of the CSI's and NCIS shows. TV really sucks now days
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May 23, 2016
Good. CSI Cyber was silly. Surprised it got 2 seasons, even short ones.
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May 16, 2016
The old saying is true. All good things must come to an end. The original series is (obviously) the best of the CSI franchise. However I enjoyed them all tremendously. CSI: Cyber was not bad at all. However I think it suffered from too instances where episodes and/or story lines were too implausible to be enjoyed. Each of the series in the franchise did have this problem, but not as much as CSI: Cyber did. I'm glad at least CBS gave the series two seasons before giving up.
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May 15, 2016
I give CBS a season before they realise how much money they are going to lose by not having at least one CSI in they fold and some other network pick it up
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May 14, 2016
I would have preferred at least one of the franchises were still live, or a completely fresh, old school CSI was brought up.. Cyber was absolutely the worst, how it moved on to the second season was beyond me.. I did like CSI and CSI:NY though.. easy, predictable, not very demanding.. that is why people like procedurals..
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May 16, 2016
I feel like if Cyber had not been about ridiculous cybercrimes and was just a normal old school CSI that was in another city, then it would have been more successful. I gather the only reason why original recipe Vegas CSI is off the air is because of the costs that grow after a decade on the air. If they had not tried Cyber, they could have probably just shipped Danson off to Atlanta or something replicated the formula at lower cost.


I never thought that NCIS would overtake the CSI empire.
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May 14, 2016
I am such a loser. i am probably the only one who watched every single episode. it is did get better in the second season, but it was very inconsistent. They started a romance between the black guy and the punk guy, but then never mentioned again (i am sorry that i don't remember their names) the show did not what to do with the guy from Dawson.
Arquette was a big disappointment. she was much better on Medium. They never seemed to know what do with her character.
This show does prove again that live action and computers do not mix. It just is not exciting seeing people type on computers or messing with computers. movies and TV try music to make it more exciting, but it just can't seem to work.
War games is the only computer movie or TV show that works.
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May 13, 2016
oh wow really? how many NCISes are left though?
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May 16, 2016
It's funny to think how NCISes and Criminal Minds have overtaken the CSIs in the last decade.
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May 13, 2016
I had no idea any of the CSI's had been canceled, but that's largely due to my aversion to CBS and their terrible, terrible programming.
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May 13, 2016
Awwwww man, now where am I going to go to get my exasperated laughs?

Seriously though, Cyber was amazing at creating crazy plots for the express purpose of instilling fear in older, less tech-savvy generations.

JVB and Fat Neil, you will be missed! hahaha
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May 13, 2016
CSI Cyber ended the CSI-franchise not CBS, if they hadn't made the science so dumb, more people would have watched it. But you can only do so much with Hacking, it's still people doing something on a PC everytime
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May 12, 2016
I really liked the original CSI, but man this CSI Cyber is trash. The actors are good, but the stories are just ridiculous
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May 12, 2016
This is sad news indeed. The only one I didn't care for and most people I know didn't was Miami. I still don't know why they would cancel all of the previous spin offs and then make a new one. CSI New York was actually the best one aside from The original. Why kill off that one only to make more. Anyway I didn't mince Cyber so I am sad about this BUT not really shocked ether and they left it off and a solid end instead of a big cliff.
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May 12, 2016
It's definitely a mercy killing.
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May 12, 2016
Don't worry if your a fan of the show in a few years time CBS will do a FOX and raid their IP's and bring the show back!

Thinking of CSI's opening theme made me remember Charmed's one 'How Soon is Now' that started back in 98!
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May 12, 2016
"This means that people born in 2000 will finally get to experience what life is like without the billion-dollar franchise taking up real estate on their parents' DVRs."

Jeezus. That is one sobering realization.
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May 12, 2016
Will be missed.
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May 12, 2016
I watch way more TV than I should. My DVR is recording 4-5 hours of TV a night, and I have never seen one second of a CSI.
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May 12, 2016
That's an impressive feat!
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May 12, 2016
Boo & screw you bad bad CBS. I liked CSI CYBER. Patricia is attractive: a beautiful face even though she's significantly overweight even usually draped/costumed in black outfits. Rare that I find a chubby attractive. Probably wouldn't want to take a bath with her though LOL!
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May 12, 2016
I miss original recipe csi... I don't think anyone's missing cyber...
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May 12, 2016
Your key words were "I don't think". I agree LOL, you "don't think".
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May 12, 2016
CSI Miami will always be my jam
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May 13, 2016
"In Miami, it's mango jelly..."
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May 12, 2016
I miss vanilla csi. I watched it early on and quit and then came back a few years before it ended. cyber's backdoor pilot and premise were enough to keep me away from it.
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May 12, 2016
I thought it was OK, especially for a CSI show. (I couldn't watch any of the others.) Season one was indeed rough (SuperMundo!! LOL). Season two was actually pretty good.

Part of the fun, for me anyway, was eye-rolling at people saying, "that's not how to do that!" (it's a 43-minute TV show, not an all-day how-to seminar). And "that's ridiculous! that could never happen!" (despite news of similar hacks and vulnerabilities, sometimes almost identical, sometimes with a few details changed).

Anyway, no surprise it was canceled. The last episode wrapped everything up so tight there was nothing left. The ratings weren't great, but they were quite a bit better than Elementary after it moved to Sunday nights.
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May 12, 2016
I absolutly love CSI : Las Vegas! and I liked CSI:Cyber too so I will miss it a lot!
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May 12, 2016
I love Arquette and I tried to support the show because of her but it was horrible. I'm honestly glad that it's cancelled because now her, Danson, Moss and VanDerbeek can find better shows.
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May 12, 2016
Oh no, now they'll only have NCIS, won't somebody think of the children?!?

CSI Cyber's backdoor pilot on CSI Original Recipe was so painfully stupid and wrong-headed that I couldn't give the show half a chance, and even gave up on CSI itself that season.
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May 12, 2016
LOL. Your first line had me dying.
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May 12, 2016
I gave up on CSI: Cyber sometime around the end of the first season. It never appealed to me. Perhaps I am wrong, but while the other versions relied on real crime scene investigation techniques (albeit with unbelievably quick turnaround on lab tests), the cyber investigations seemed to do things that were outside the realm of what is currently possible. They are not the first television program to turn computers into “magic boxes” that defy all laws of physics and the current state of computer science, but the whole show relied on this.
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May 13, 2016
Strangely enough, the second season brought in Ted Danson who was more along the lines of a traditional crime scene investigator. So, from then on, the show incorporated more of what you would usually expect from a CSI show, and the show intertwined that quick lab work (that you mentioned in your comment) with the almost impossible tech feats from the first season.

Honestly, the show was "meh." You didn't miss out on anything.
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May 12, 2016
The CSI franchise is FINALLY over :O i thought the day would never come - it's time to purchase the complete series of the Vegas one (if said boxset EVER gets released)

I take it NBC is the new CBS with it's never ending Chicago shows
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May 16, 2016
Chicago Paradox
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May 12, 2016
(whispered: "Canceled. It could happen to you.")
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May 12, 2016
WooHoo, NCIS Bangor, ME here we come.
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May 13, 2016
Bangor....I hardly knew her!
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May 12, 2016
between this, Mike & Molly, and Person of Interest, CBS should have the budget to renew Supergirl :p I stopped watching the original CSI after like season 3 or 4 and never watched any of the spinoffs so I really have no opinion on this lol
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May 12, 2016
I just read that Supergirl was renewed but moving to CW
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May 12, 2016
Really? Source link by chance?
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May 13, 2016
It's all over the net now, TV Line, Deadline, TV Guide, etc.
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May 12, 2016
I saw it on Facebook earlier, I think TV Guide posted it but now it is on the front page of TV.com as well.
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