'CSI' Star Marg Helgenberger Return Confirmed for 'Vegas' Season 2
UPDATE: According to Deadline, Helgenberger is officially making her return to the CSI franchise in season 2. The outlet reports that she will be a "series regular" and only has a one-year deal at this point.
CBS needs to bring back a familiar face to anchor CSI: Vegas Season 2, and that might be Marg Helgenberger. The actor, who played Catherine Willows in the first 12 seasons of the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, is in talks to join the CSI revival, reports TVLine. Vegas was renewed for a second season but will require a significant retooling after original CSI stars William Petersen and Jorja Fox left.
CBS has not commented on the report. It's also not clear how her return to CSI would affect her role as Judge Lisa Benner on All Rise. Although CBS canceled All Rise after a second season, the Simone Missick-starring legal drama was rescued by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Helgenberger was one of the original faces of CSI, alongside Petersen. She remained on the show through Season 12, but she returned in Season 14 to appear in the 300th episode, "Frame by Frame." Helgenberger also appeared in the finale movie "Immortality," which aired in September 2015. Her performance was Catherine Willows earned Helgenberger Emmy nods in 2001 and 2003. She won an Emmy in 1990 for China Beach.
CSI: Vegas was originally envisioned as a limited series, but its success prompted CBS to order a second season in December. There's been just one big problem though, as the show lost both of the original CSI stars who returned. Petersen was only signed to act as Gil Grissom for one season and decided to return only as an executive producer. Fox, who played Sara Sidle, tweeted last month that she could not return without Petersen.
"After much deliberating, I have decided not to 'Sidle up' for CSI Vegas. For me, CSI has always been a love story. The story that people can find love in the darkest of places and times," Fox tweeted on Jan. 25. "And the story that love, even in the darkest of places and times, can expand and grow roots and endure. I personally just can't split Sara and Grissom up again. So goes Grissom.....So goes Sara. Wherever they go, they belong together."
The show also lost one of its new stars. Mel Rodriguez, who played medical examiner Hugo Ramirez, is leaving as a series regular. The door is open for him to make guest appearances though. The remaining Vegas cast includes Paula Newsome as Max Roby, the new head of the crime lab; Matt Lauria as CSI Josh Folsom; and Mandeep Dhillon as CSI Allie Rajan. Original CSI stars Paul Guilfoyle and Wallace Langham also appeared in Vegas. Fans can catch up with CSI: Vegas on Paramount+.