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‘CSI: Vegas’ Star Paula Newsome ‘Surprised’ by Show’s Cancellation

Arnold Turner

CSI: Vegas star Paula Newsome is breaking her silence on CBS’ decision to pull the series from its primetime lineup.

Newsome finally addressed the cancellation in an interview with TVLine days before the CSI spinoff’s final episode on May 19.

“I got the news from my showrunner [Jason Tracey], and I was very surprised because our ratings are so good,” she told the outlet.

CBS launched CSI: Vegas in 2021, casting Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon and Mel Rodriguez in roles new to the long-running franchise. While Vegas has reached nearly 6 million viewers in its third season, according to TVLine, the show is the network’s least-watched original drama.

“Our numbers were much higher than a lot of shows on other networks that had been picked up, so that was very surprising, but I know the business is tough,” Newsome continued. 

Now that the news has sunk in, Newsome is choosing to make the best of a bad situation. 

“The truth about part of what we do as actors is we sometimes have to ‘wait in the hallway’ [between roles], and it’s about enjoying the time in the hallway,” she said. “Before I got CSI: Vegas, two minutes before that call I didn’t know a thing about it! Before I got the call for Spider-Man [No Way Home, where she played an MIT bigwig], I didn’t know anything about it! There’s always time in the hallway, and the most important thing is to enjoy that time, because something is always coming. So make sure that when you have the time off, enjoy it. Travel, relax, work out more.”

Newsome, 62, formerly starred on TV’s Chicago Med and Barry as well as in the film Spider-Man: No Way Home. On CSI: Vegas, she plays Max Roby, head of the Las Vegas Crime Lab. Sunday’s series-ender sees her character on the tail of a villainous tech boss who’s using AI robots to manipulate DNA.

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“[In the past] a show with our numbers would be on for a couple more seasons, no question,” she said. “But yeah, it’s a good run. It should be more. I’m very proud of what we did.”

CBS has canceled a batch of shows in the past few weeks, including NCIS: Hawai’i and the legal drama So Help Me Todd, which counted Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden among the cast. So Help Me Todd will bid farewell on Thursday.

“Every show is different,” CBS CEO George Cheeks said in a recent press conference. “We certainly had a wonderful experience with So Help Me Todd. It was heartbreaking.”

As for the CSI franchise, the door remains open to launch more spinoffs. “I definitely think that franchise is alive and well and we continue to be in discussions,” CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach said. “It’s a part of our legacy.”

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