After 15 seasons on air, “CSI” has reached the end of its run.
CBS has decided to end the crime series, and now it’s a question of exactly how to end it.
Ahead of Wednesday’s upfront announcements, the network is working on a plan to bid the show farewell, possibly in the form of a two-hour special or movie, according to a person with knowledge of the plan.
The finale would air sometime early in the 2016-17 season and would help CBS position the iconic show’s end as more than a mere cancellation.
The plan could be announced Wednesday morning.
While “CSI” has been one of the most well-known brands on TV, the news of its cancellation isn’t a huge shock.
Much like Fox announcing the end “American Idol” on Monday, the show’s time had arguably come.
However, it shouldn’t be understated just how big of a series “CSI” was for CBS and TV in general.
Debuting in 2000, “CSI” was one of television’s biggest powerhouses in terms of ratings ranking as TV’s top rated show in 2001 and 2002, according to ratings company Nielsen.
The series averaged over 20 million viewers for six seasons amassing its largest audience of 26.5 million in its fifth season.
In recent years, the series had lost much of its ratings power but still averaged a good — albeit smaller — audience of roughly 11 million viewers for its latest season which ended in February.
Away from being a ratings success, “CSI” also generated multiple spinoffs for CBS like “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” and the latest “CSI: Cyber” which debuted this season. “CSI Cyber” is the only spinoff that is expected to continue its run.
The series also spawned many imitations now seen throughout the current TV landscape.
“CSI” also had an impact on the real world of forensic science by popularizing the profession for millions of people.