CBS Developing ‘CSI’ Spin-Off Set In FBI Cyber Crimes Unit

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CBS is planning another spin-off from one of their established franchises. The network has given a pilot order to a proposed CSI spin-off which will air as an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation this Spring.

The proposed spin-off, which is being written by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, Ann Donahue and Carol Mendelsohn, follows FBI Special Agent Avery Ryan, who runs the bureau’s Cyber Crime Division in Quantico, VA. Ryan is responsible for solving high-octane crimes that start in the mind, live on-line, and play out into the real world. The as-yet untitled spin-off is inspired by the work of Mary Aiken and will be produced by CBS Television Studios and Bruckheimer Television with Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Anthony Zuiker, Ann Donahue and Carol Mendelsohn serving as executive producers.

If picked up to series, this would mark the third spin-off for the once formidable CSI franchise. The original CSI series – which is a recognised global hit, airing in almost every corner of the world – previously led to spin-offs CSI: Miami, toplined by David Caruso; and CSI: NY, which featured a cast led by Gary Sinise. While both of those series have since been cancelled, they had decent runs and looking at a new spin-off of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation makes sense as the veteran procedural, now in its fourteenth season, is still a strong player for CBS on Wednesday nights.

The news of this new CSI spin-off also comes as CBS is plotting a similar move with fellow crime franchise NCIS. In that case, CBS is developing a spin-off – the pilot of which is to air as a two-part episode of NCIS this Spring – set in New Orleans which follows the local NCIS office that handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. That CBS Television Studios produced project is being executive produced by Mark Harmon & Gary Glasberg and has Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise, Men Of A Certain Age), CCH Pounder (Warehouse 13, Sons Of Anarchy), Zoe McLellan (JAG, Dirty Sexy Money) and Lucas Black (Fast & Furious) attached to star.