CSI: Vegas Locks In Original Star Eric Szmanda

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Another familiar face is headed back to Sin City.

TV Line reported Thursday that Eric Szmanda has closed a deal to return to the CSI universe on an upcoming episode of CSI: Vegas Season 2.

The actor was a pivotal part of the original series, appearing on all 15 seasons when it aired on CBS.

Actor Eric Szmanda attends The Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest 2015 Fall TV Preview "CSI" Farewell Salute

Despite forging ahead with a largely new cast, CSI: Vegas has had some franchise mainstays to appease fans of the original series.

CSI: Vegas Season 1 had Jorja Fox and William Petersen, but they both decided to depart following the opening season of the reboot.

Exonerating Hodges -- Tall - CSI: Vegas Season 1 Episode 9

Petersen had a one-season deal, but there was the hope Fox would continue on as Gil Grissom's love interest Sara Sidle.

Fox felt it would be cruel to split up Gil and Sarah again, so announced after the series had been renewed that she would not be back.

“For me, CSI has always been a love story,” Fox said at the time of her exit. “The story that people can find love in the darkest of places and times. I personally just can’t split Sara and Grissom up again. So goes Grissom…..So goes Sara. Wherever they go, they belong together.”

Marg Helgenberger, who played Catherine Willows was subseqently drafted in as the original series attraction for the second season.

Frustrated Catherine - CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 8

However, the star has signed a one-year deal, meaning that if the show scores a renewal, we could be looking at her to pass the torch to another OG, or for the reboot to proceed with its new wave of cast members.

For now, Szmanda is stepping back into the universe as Greg Sanders, meaning we'll see Greg and Catherine on-screen together, which is pretty exciting.

It's unclear at this stage just how many episodes CSI: Vegas Season 2 will span, but TV Line notes that it will be more than 13, meaning we're getting a much bigger season than last.

CSI: Vegas comes in dead last for the network's 17 scripted series, averaging 3.33 million viewers and a 0.29 rating in the demo.

Actor Eric Szmanda - The Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest 2015 Fall TV Preview

The series was renewed last season on the strength of its delayed viewership, and the same could happen again.

We'll need to stay tuned to how CBS' midseason schedule holds up to have a better guess about the future for the CSI franchise.

What are your thoughts on this big return?

Hit the comments.

Remember, you can watch CSI: Vegas online right here via TV Fanatic.

Catch new episodes of the series on Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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CSI Quotes

Nick Stokes: Open bottle of Vodka, a used glass. What do you think; one last drink?
Greg Sanders: One last laugh.

Dr. Robbins: A racist gets stabbed before he can drown. Some would call that justice.
Ray Langston: We still have to call it murder.