TV’s ‘CSI’ lab is reopening for forensic business


William Petersen

Q: Someone told me that “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is coming back. Is that true? — Gary Webb, via e-mail

A: Pretty much. CBS has ordered “CSI: Vegas,” a sequel series to the original show, for next season. It will seem like old times to a certain extent where the cast is concerned: William Petersen, Jorja Fox and Wallace Langham all are returning to their roles. Lots of the original executive producers also will be back on board, including Petersen and “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker.

Fans of the franchise will recall that the success of the first show spawned a bunch of spinoffs, namely “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: NY” and “CSI: Cyber.” It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see that happen again if “CSI: Vegas” fares as well as CBS is anticipating.

Lester Holt

Q: I’ve noticed that “NBC Nightly News” is now doing a Saturday-morning edition for children. How long has that been going? — Carla Post, Providence, R.I.

A: It grew out of the coronavirus pandemic, since it began last April with a program designed for anchor Lester Holt to explain to young viewers what was happening and how it was affecting various aspects of society. Not unlike ABC’s weekday “What You Need to Know,” which now is branded as a third hour of “Good Morning America,” it was made a regular part of the lineup as it became clear that the health crisis would be a major element of life in America — and around the world, for that matter — for some time.

Q: I recently saw a “Blue Bloods” repeat that was about the car Steve McQueen drove in “Bullitt.” Did the episode use the actual car from the movie? — Robert Steele, Westerville, Ohio

A: We’re sorry to wreck the illusion, but no, it didn’t. There actually were two vintage Mustangs used in the tale, and — spoiler alert! — the one that was thought in the plot to be an actual McQueen-driven vehicle from the 1968 police classic eventually was revealed to be a fake.

Another Mustang shown at the end of the story was said to be the “real” one, but that also wasn’t. The way to see the real deal is actually to watch “Bullitt,” and Turner Classic Movies shows it frequently.

Q: I know that there is a newly re-edited version of “The Godfather, Part III.” Will that ever be on television? — Pat Crane, via e-mail

A: In a certain sense, it already is, since Showtime has been running the renamed “The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone” this month — along with the first two films in the franchise, which both won Oscars for best picture. The original “Part III” isn’t available on Showtime, begging the question of whether “Coda” will replace that in all future telecasts on all networks, which could be a deal that filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (who badly wanted to do the re-edit for many years) struck with Paramount Pictures.

If that does turn out to be the case, the “Coda” refreshening could get the former “Part III” better TV scheduling that it typically has had, since it’s often relegated to the overnight hours whenever it’s shown in tandem with the other “Godfather” movies. We’ve seen “Coda,” and in honesty, the revising isn’t all that extensive … amounting to the addition of a new opening scene and the rearranging of the order of some scenes. (In fact, the re-edit loses several minutes from the initial version.) Still, curiosity about there being a “new” version of “Part III” could work in its favor TV-wise.

Q: It’s been hard to keep track of when CBS’ Friday shows have new episodes. How many are left for this season? — Norm Barnes, Glen Burnie, Md.

A: Their season finales will be staggered over several weeks. “MacGyver” is slated to wrap up its fifth year April 30, while “Magnum P.I.” says “Aloha” (see what we did there?) to its third year May 7. Devotees of “Blue Bloods” will get an extra dose of the police drama as it ends its 11th season, since that will be a two-hour telecast May 14. What’s interesting is that while all three shows began their seasons late, due to pandemic-related production delays, they’re basically ending when they normally would.

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Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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