Fan of “procedurals” – the TV dramas that wrap a story at the end of each hour – can get used to this:
For now, there will be lots of spin-offs from existing franchises.
CBS recently announced two of them for next season – a new “FBI” show and a reboot of the first “CSI.” with some of the original stars, including William Petersen (shown here). That comes as NBC airs its new variation of “Law & Order.”
Broadcast networks have seen their ratings plummet, as streaming and cable channels soar. But the self-contained procedural hours – the one area that streamers ignore – have done adequately. A recent weekly Nielsen list had eight procedurals in the top 15, including two “FBI” shows, two “9-1-1” shows and the always-strong “NCIS.”
Still, viewers are reluctant to sample anything new. This season, CBS only launched dramas based on familiar sources – “Clarice” (from “Silence of the Lambs”) and “The Equalizer”; next season, things will be even more familiar. The franchises are:
– “CSI:” At their peak, these shows propelled CBS to the top. There were nine seasons set in New York … 10 in Miami … and 15 for the original, set in Las Vegas.
Now, after a six-year gap, the original will return with a slightly different name (“CSI: Vegas”), but the same location. It will bring back some of the original stars – Petersen, Jorja Fox and David Hodges – and add Matt Lauria, Paula Newsome, Mel Rodriguez and Mandeep Dhillon.
– “FBI:” Two shows – “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted,” already get CBS’ best spots, after “NCIS” on Tuesdays. Now “FBI International” will be added next season.
– “Law & Order.” The latest version – “Law & Order: Organized Crime” – has just started at 10 p.m. Thursdays on NBC. Its lead-in, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” is already in its 22nd season. The original “Law & Order” ran 20 seasons and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” ran 10, but three others have done only one season apiece.
And don’t feel sorry for producer Dick Wolf if any of his shows are canceled On NBC, he has three “Chicago” shows and two “Law & Order” ones; on CBS next season, he’ll have three “FBI” ones.
– “NCIS”: This is the exception – a franchise that might shrink slightly. CBS has said this season is the final one for “NCIS: New Orleans.” That show is in its seventh season; “NCIS: Los Angeles” is in its 12th, with the original “NCIS” in its 18th.