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CBS cancels ‘CSI,’ ending a TV era

One of the most successful TV series in small screen history is coming to an end with the announcement “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” will wrap up its 15-year run on CBS with a movie event — including original star and former Chicago theater mainstay William Petersen as part of the mix.

The Sept. 27 event also will include former “CSI” fixture Marg Helgenberger as part of the special farewell.

The show was an immediate hit when it launched in 2000, averaging 20 million viewers by the end of its first season — ranking among television’s Top 10 series. It hit its top number in Season 5, snaring 26 million viewers.

The popularity of “CSI” and its forensic crime-solving led to three spinoff series: “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: NY” and just this past season, “CSI: Cyber.” The latter, starring newly named Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, was renewed Wednesday for a second season, with current “CSI” star Ted Danson joining the cast.

The cancellation of the original “CSI” comes as no surprise. CBS cut back the show’s 15th season episode order from 22 to 18 shows. The series ended the year with an average audience of 8 million viewers.