'CSI: Vegas' Reveals Replacements After Mel Rodriguez's Exit

CSI: Vegas finally has its new medical examiners. Sara Amini and Joel Johnstone joined the CBS crime drama, a revival of the groundbreaking original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series. The Last Man on Earth star Mel Rodriguez played medical examiner Dr. Hugo Ramirez for CSI: Vegas Season 1, but he left the show in January. CSI: Vegas Season 2 will be headlined by the return of Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows.

Amini (Future Man) was cast in a recurring role as Sonya, the new leader of the Las Vegas Medical Examiner office, reports Deadline. Johnstone will play Sonya's assistant Jack, her older brother, and an optimistic, curious examiner. Amini also starred in The Twilight Zone and Hulu's upcoming movie Mack & Rita. Johnstone stars in the upcoming fifth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and had a recurring part on HBO's The Newsroom.

The first season of CSI: Vegas aired on CBS between October and December. It was originally envisioned as a limited series, with Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) returning to Las Vegas after their old colleague Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) is attacked. Gil and Sara joined the new CSI team, led by Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) to investigate past cases that could be compromised when David Hodges (Wallace Langham) is accused of evidence tampering.

Since CSI: Vegas turned out to be a big hit, CBS couldn't help but renew the show in late December. However, that news came with William Petersen deciding to leave since he only signed a one-year deal. In January, Jorja Fox announced she would be leaving, since she saw her character's story tightly linked to Petersen's. Rodriguez's departure was reported a day after Fox's.

After Petersen and Fox left, producers clearly felt a need to bring back another original CSI star. In February, Helgenberger agreed to come back. She starred in the first 12 seasons of CSI. Helgenberger also stars in All Rise, which OWN saved after CBS canceled the Simone Missick-starring legal drama.

The rest of the new CSI: Vegas team includes Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom, Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rakan, and Jay Lee as Chris Park. Lex Medlin (Drop Dead Diva) will play a new CSI investigator named Beau, while Ariana Guerra will play a character named Serena.

During the 2021 Television Critics Association press tour, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, who serves as an executive producer on Vegas, teased more returns of fan-favorite characters. "Anytime we can get any of our veterans back, it's such a great plus for all of our fans," he said in September 2021. "We have a couple more surprises in store. I could probably say that. But the fantastic blend of the original cast members with a brand new, diverse team in 2021 and beyond is such a great treat for the CSI fans and the franchise."

The entire first season of CSI: Vegas is available to stream on Paramount+. Season 2 will air on CBS Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, starting on Sept. 29. Paramount+ is also the streaming home for the spin-offs CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. Only three seasons of the original show are on Paramount+, but all 15 are available on Hulu.