This is the end of a billion-dollar franchise. CBS has canceled CSI: Cyber, the last spinoff from the forensic procedural drama that took television by storm 16 years ago.
CSI: Cyber ran for two abbreviated seasons. The series, starring then-newly minted Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, launched in midseason 2015 in the Wednesday time slot where the mothership series had spent three seasons before relocating to Sunday for its final run. After so-so ratings, Cyber got a second-season renewal with CSI leading man Ted Danson joining for a season-long arc.
The show struggled on Sunday, where it was often bumped into late-night primetime by football. The network gave it a couple of airings on Wednesday this midseason, where the show did marginally better, to get more feedback before making a renewal decision. Overall, CSI: Cyber was consistent in the ratings, starting its second season with 6.79 million viewers and a 1.0 demo rating in Live+Same Day and ending with 6.32 million a 1.0 rating. By CBS network standards, that is pretty low.
Still, by corporate standards, the show, produced by CBS TV Studios, was a profitable asset which makes a lot of money internationally as an offshoot from the CSI franchise, thus making a business case for renewal. That was not enough to save the series, with the network ultimately passing on a third season.
CSI: Cyber was the fourth CSI series and the first to tackle different area than forensics, focusing on cyber crime. The mothership series ran for 15 seasons, CSI: Miami for 10, and CSI: NY for nine.