When CBS first ordered “CSI: Cyber,” we know that they had at least some expectations that this could continue along the franchise in epic fashion. Here’s a crazy statistic to think about for a moment: This franchise has aired close to 800 episodes across four separate shows since its premiere back in October 2000; the only shows that are still running in primetime that have a longer shelf life at the moment than it does are some like “Law & Order: SVU,” “Survivor,” “Family Guy,” and “The Simpsons”; of these four, only one of them is a scripted drama series. (Technically, you can add “NCIS” to the list given that it an offshoot of “JAG,” but few people ever remember that anymore.)
So are we starting to look at the death of the “CSI” franchise as we know it? This is something that we are down to investigate further in the latest edition of our Ratings Bubble Report series based on its recent numbers.
The good news – It’s “CSI.” It’s an institution. It’s known all over the world. This is a show that has inspired many people to become real-life technicians, just as this is a show that has persevered through many cast changes and timeslot shifts in the past. “CSI: Cyber” does have a star in Patricia Arquette with some critical acclaim behind her thanks to “Boyhood,” and when you think about all of the hacks and cyber-crime today, you’d think that it would do a good job tapping into young demographics.
The bad news – Unfortunately, the show hasn’t been able to. CBS has done a poor job of really reaching out to the core group of viewers who watch “Mr. Robot” or are in hacking circles, and these were the viewers they needed to court more than diehard “CSI” fans. The name was going to be enough to get these people to tune in. The show received low ratings for season 1, and adding Ted Danson hasn’t really helped this time. The show is not averaging even a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic, and Danson is leaving to pursue a new comedy series.
Renewal odds – Very low. Maybe we will see the “CSI” franchise live on in the future either on CBS or another network, but we just don’t think this show is marketed well enough to get the sort of viewers it needs. If it is going to exist more as a show meant to attract crime TV fans, it probably needs to be more visceral and shocking than it is.
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