Why CSI: Vegas Season 1 Was So Short | Screen Rant

While CSI: Vegas season 2 will have a more normal number of episodes, there are numerous reasons that the spinoff’s first season ran at only ten episodes long. For decades, the average television season has been around 18 to 26 episodes, with a handful of exceptions. CSI fit this model, with the show producing seasons of between 18 and 24 episodes throughout its original run.

However, with hits like How I Met Your Father replacing longer seasons of traditional television with shorter streaming runs, it is becoming more and more common for revivals, spinoffs, and franchise reboots to start with comparatively brief debuts. How I Met Your Father season 1 ran only ten episodes compared to How I Met Your Mother’s 22 episodes. Meanwhile, the CSI revival CSI: Vegas had only ten episodes in their respective 2021 debut seasons.

Related: Why Ted Danson’s D.B. Russell Shouldn’t Return in CSI: Vegas Season 2

However, the changing landscape of streaming and traditional television was not the only reason for the truncated first season of CSI: Vegas. The revival was always intended to be a limited series, and, with COVID-19-related shutdowns stalling production by a year, anything more than ten episodes would have been impossible. CSI: Vegas season 2 will return to a longer season of at least 13 episodes, but season 1’s brevity was at least in part a conscious creative decision. This choice meant that CSI: Vegas season 1 was able to tell a self-contained story, although its short runtime also made the show feel more like a miniseries and less like the classic original procedural show.

However, while it was not ideal that the CSI franchise’s revival felt so tonally different from earlier CSI shows, the focus on a single storyline did let CSI: Vegas season 1 introduce new characters alongside old favorites. Now that William Petersen’s Gil Grissom and Jorja Fox’s Sara Sidle are leaving the series, these franchise veterans have helped pave the way for their replacements to feel more like classic CSI characters. A longer season could have strained the chemistry between existing fan favorites and new characters, but with an individual longer storyline dominating the action of CSI: Vegas season 1, the show never felt like it was trying to recreate the tone of the original CSI.

With its self-contained story of Sara and Gil successfully evading a killer who was trying to track them down, CSI: Vegas season 1 served as both an effective introduction to the show’s new lineup and a solid goodbye to the old guard. Gil and Sara got the happy ending they deserved, while the news that CSI: Vegas season 2 will bring back Marg Helgenberger’s Catherine proves that the series still has a solid canon connection to its predecessor. As a result, the brief 10-episode run of CSI: Vegas season 1 proved that streaming shows can transition from shorter debuts into more traditional formats, provided the projects share some connective tissue with their predecessors.

More: CSI: Vegas Season 2 Needs To Give Sara & Gil Their Happy Ending

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