HOLLYWOOD, August 7, 2014 – CBS has announced that James Van Der Beek—most recently a cast member of the winking eye’s blessedly canceled smut-com “Friends With Better Lives”—will appear as the male lead, paired with Patricia Arquette in in the upcoming “CSI: Cyber.” The third and newest spinoff from CBS’ enduring “CSI,” the new series is based on the work of a real-life cyberpsychologist named Mary Aiken.
Arquette plays Special Agent Avery Ryan (Arquette), who runs the FBI’s cybercrime unit. She debuted in the roll in a pre-crossover episode of the original “CSI” this past spring.
Van Der Beek will star as FBI Agent Elijah Mundo. (Where in real life do we ever get to meet people with names like this?) El Mundo, according to Hollywood Reporter, is “an expert in battlefield forensics [who’s] recruited by Ryan for his war efforts in Afghanistan.” That would be a first during this Administration. But hey, this is Hollywood.
“A self-proclaimed action junkie,” HR continues, “Mundo often will put himself at risk to seek permanent justice, while Ryan will level his diehard behavior with her expertise in psychology. Together, they will fight the world’s toughest cyber crimes. The casting comes on a day when cybercrime is dominating the news headlines with the stories about a Russian crime ring that allegedly has access to more than 1 billion usernames and passwords and about a computer breach at a government contractor conducting background security checks on Department of Homeland Security personnel.”
While “CSI” continues to run briskly in its current time slot, its two previous spinoffs, “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: New York” were put out of their misery over the last two seasons after garnering respectable runs themselves. Both the plotlines and casts in each spinoff seemed to grow tired of the routine, and each was rapidly losing viewership.
The original “CSI” itself stumbled somewhat over the last few seasons after longtime crime lab head Gil Grissom (William Peterson) bowed out for greener pastures, although things seemed to stabilize last season, with Ted Danson growing in his role as D. B. Russell. Danson’s character was Grissom’s ultimate replacement, following a weak stewardship under Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) and the introduction of major character Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne) who received top billing but never quite seemed to gel with the longtime cast.
Van Der Beek will join Arquette and already announced cast members Peter MacNicol and Charley Koontz as the new series gears up. Sources point to a website for the new show, but it currently generates a blank screen. As of today, we’re unable to find additional information on the new series debut.
At least one website asserts “CSI: Cyber” will be a mid-season replacement for the original “CSI.” That’s unlikely, as CBS has re-upped its still popular vintage series for another full season.