Good news on Friday for "CSI" fans, with word that Paula Newsome (Barry), Matt Lauria (Little Birds), and Mel Rodriguez (On Becoming a God In Central Florida) have been cast as the leads in CSI: Vegas– with Deadline Hollywood reporting that the project is nearing a straight-to-series order. Stemming from Jason Tracey (Elementary), CBS TV Studios, and Jerry Bruckheimer TV, the new series opens a brand new chapter in Las Vegas, the city where it all began. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the Crime Lab, a new team of forensic investigators must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City. Original series stars William Petersen (Gil Grissom) and Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) are reportedly negotiating to reprise their roles for the sequel series.
The new team will consist of new Vegas CSIs and the medical examiner who works with them, with three of the four main characters expected to be people of color. Maxine (possibly Newsome) is the new head of the Vegas Crime Lab: a former basketball coach, she is a top-flight scientist and a leader in the field of genetics. Recently divorced, she struggles with her son's opioid addiction. Josh (possibly Lauria) is a Level III CSI who is typically the lead investigator on cases and has a knack for crime scene reconstruction. Vegas born and bred, he comes from a family of small-time crooks and scammers. Allie is an immigrant who followed her dreams to Las Vegas. She is a young Level II CSI with a bright future and a sunny disposition. Allie is a bonafide genius: a double Harvard whiz kid with a Ph.D. in forensic archaeology. Chris is an up-and-coming Level 2 CSI. He's a private school kid who started out in a white coat and worked his way into the field. Now, he's a lab rat set free. Hugo (possibly Rodriguez) has been Head Medical Examiner for three years now, and has an endless fascination with the bodies that find their way onto his slab, with the morgue serving as his "happy place."
Created by Anthony Zuiker, the series took viewers inside a Las Vegas Police Department's crime-scene investigations unit to showcase the way physical evidence can be used to solve crimes. Joining Petersen and Fox during the show's original run were Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Gary Dourdan, and Paul Guilfoyle. Petersen's Dr. Gilbert "Gil" Grissom was followed in the lead role by Laurence Fishburne, and then Ted Danson. Tracey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, and CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker will executive produce. Peterson and his long-time producing partner Cynthia Chvatal are in negotiations to executive produce (as they did on the original series).