This may be the season that CSI: Vegas finally stands on its own two feet.
In its first two seasons, this hybrid has faced a difficult challenge. It's not a revival of the popular series, which ran for 15 seasons on CBS. It isn't a reboot, with new characters repopulating an old concept.
Instead, in its first two seasons, CSI: Vegas has featured a couple of legacy characters to draw in viewers of the original series.
In CSI: Vegas Season 1, power couple Gil Grissom (William Peterson) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) returned to clear the lab's reputation and former lab rat David Hodges (Wallace Langham) from a well-crafted frame.
Meanwhile, seemingly in the background, the lab's new criminologists solved the day-to-day cases.
What Were the Highlights of CSI: Vegas Season 2?
The second season struck a better balance between new and old. It almost had to.
The return of Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) was well handled.
Catherine did have her own investigation, looking into the death and murder of her protege, Grace Huang. She also spent time, on and off screen, attempting to improve her relationship with her estranged daughter, Lindsey.
Once Catherine brought Grace's killer to justice, she hung around, becoming a team member rather than just someone sharing lab space.
Less successful was the comeback of Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda).
At first, it was great to catch up with Greg. But he quickly became that old man offering advice to the younger CSIs who didn't want it. Then he was gone.
Fortunately, the new squad got to undergo the necessary character development.
First among those had to be Josh Folsom (Matt Lauria).
Josh is a Vegas native whose mother, Jeannette, is a drug addict on the brink and whose "brother," Trey, is a drug dealer. All this left Josh toeing a fine line, especially since he's dating Serena, the detective attached to his unit.
Aided by Trey, he went on a rogue investigation on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 21 after Jeannette was killed instead of the expected overdosing.
The upshot of his not stepping back and trusting his teammates was that Josh got arrested for murdering Jeannette's killer and leaving his body in a dumpster.
PartFolsom's story arc didn't work was the love triangle among Josh, Serena, and his lab-mate Allie, which labored on. Let's hope that doesn't carry over to the upcoming season, whenever that happens.
Also evolving was boss Maxine "Max" Roby (Paula Newsome). Max had been the efficient, likable boss of the lab. But all that changed when she was attacked on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 3.
From then on, Max struggled with PTSD, although she was loathe to admit it. One result was that her ex-husband Daniel came to town, and her son Bryan reappeared as his mother's rock.
Also, she decided she had to learn to delegate, so she created a position for an assistant supervisor.
Because Josh continued to go off the reservation, that position went to Allie, who had less experience but more stability in her life.
The morgue continued to have a revolving door on CSI: Vegas.
After the first season, Mel Rodriguez and his quirky medical examiner Hugo Ramirez left the show.
But nails-on-chalkboard Sonya Nikolayovich (Sara Amini) wasn't the answer, and she was written out by CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 16.
Dr. Milton Hudson (Derek Webster), who "filled in" for Sonya for the remainder of the season, has been a welcome replacement. Here's hoping he hangs around for Season 3.
All that didn't leave nearly enough time for further development of lab rats Beau Finado, Chris Park, and Penny Gill, although they all made the most out of their screentime.
As for the cases, the Silver Ink Killer went on way too long. Then CSI: Vegas remembered it was a procedural, and there were more one-and-done cases the rest of the way.
CSI: Vegas Season 3 Renewal Status
On Feb. 21, 2023, it was announced that CSI: Vegas was renewed for a third season.
The renewal was a surprise, as the series' ratings were down from its first season, and it showed little sign of growth. Post-airdate viewing was a likely explanation.
Who Is in the CSI: Vegas Season 3 Cast?
Since it appears that Sonya is out, her brother Jack (Joel Johnstone) is likely to follow, although he has shown up since her departure.
As of now, the rest of the cast is expected to return.
Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby
Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom
Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan
Ariana Guerra as Serena Chavez
Jay Lee as Chris Park
Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
Lex Hudlin as Beau Finado
In November 2023, it was revealed that Reggie Lee joined the cast for multiple episodes as Zhao, "the new undersheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department," TV Line reports.
When Will CSI: Vegas Season 3 Premiere?
It's hard to say because of the writers' and actors' strikes.
The only thing that can be said definitively is that it won't be in 2023.
Bookmark this page for updates as they become available.
Update: CSI: Vegas Season 3 will premiere Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 10 p.m.
What Storylines Are Likely for CSI: Vegas Season 3?
First off would have to be dealing with that cliffhanger. How long will it take the team to clear Folsom?
After Josh is allowed to come back, how will he handle Allie, his work wife, now his supervisor? And let's hope that triangle is now in the past.
Max still figures to be dealing with her PTSD. It will be intriguing to see how she progresses, and let's make some time for Beau, the character we know the least about.
Most importantly, will viewers tune in for just the new characters?
Is There a Trailer for CSI: Vegas Season 3?
With no production, there's no trailer. We'll post it here when one becomes available.
Where can I watch CSI: Vegas Season 3?
When the new season premieres, you can watch it at 10/9c Thursdays on CBS and Paramount Plus.
What do you want to see on Season 3? Comment below.
You can watch CSI: Vegas online on TV Fanatic.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.