CBS has trimmed the number of episodes ordered for C.S.I. down to 18. This is the first time in the drama's 15 season its produced less than 22 episodes except for the writer's strike shortened season (2007-2008). The option to go down to 18 episodes was part of a flex plan initiated back in May, but the network is only now taking that option.
So what does that mean?
The series is doing all right in its Sunday night time slot, keeping ratings pace with what The Mentalist was doing in that slot last year. The network has three 13-episode drama waiting in the wing including the final season of The Mentalist and C.S.I. Cyber that is already scheduled to share the time slot with its parent show. But the fact none of the network's new dramas have failed means they have a bit of a surplus and don't need as many new episodes. So it may mean nothing.
But… the first time C.S.I Miami was trimmed in it's 10th season it was then cancelled at the end of the year. And C.S.I. New York got trimmed in it's 8th season and then lasted one more short season before getting the axe.
CBS says it's happy with its show… but history makes us question.