3:57pm PT by Natalie Jarvey
'CSI,' 'NCIS' Will Soon Be Available on Streaming
After nearly 15 years on air, CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will finally find a home for streaming.
It's still anybody's guess just where the long-running series will land, but CBS CEO Leslie Moonves teased that a domestic SVOD deal for CSI will be announced soon.
"We're just beginning to license the domestic streaming rights for our nonserialized current hit shows like CSI," he said during a conference call with investors Thursday. "These new deals represent an extension of our evolving strategy in terms of how we monetize our content. We have hundreds and hundreds of episodes ready to go, so you can imagine how lucrative this will be."
Moonves also revealed that he is also looking to sell NCIS to an SVOD distributor, but that deal appears farther off. "CSI is already a multibillion-dollar franchise and new streaming deals will only add to that," he said. "Going forward we have the whole NCIS catalog in our arsenal to sell, and discussions are already underway to license that show later this year."
Both shows will be a big get for whichever SVOD player lands the deal. CSI has been on the air since 2000 and has a library of more than 330 episodes. The aging procedural, once the most watched show in the world, continues to pull in large, though diminishing, audiences. NCIS, meanwhile, assumed CSI's mantle as the most watched global show and regularly propels CBS to lead Tuesdays in total viewers.
CBS isn't saying where CSI is going just yet, but The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that it will land at a familiar SVOD player. Netflix already offers the full catalogs for spinoffs CSI: New York and CSI: Miami. Amazon, meanwhile, offers CSI on VOD and has established a strong relationship with CBS for shows including dramas Under the Dome and Extant, which help offset the costs of the pricey summer fare. Hulu, too, offers CSI: Miami as part of its extensive library deal with CBS.
Then there is All Access, the over-the-top network that CBS launched in October. Access to past season of CSI could certainly drive subscribers to the $6-per-month offering, but airing the show exclusively on that platform would mean losing out on a large licensing deal with one of the other distributors. Of course, CBS could opt not to strike an exclusive deal and make CSI available on multiple streaming services, including All Access.
The fate of CSI, which will bow out Sunday as spinoff CSI: Cyber arrives in March, remains unclear. CBS recently accidentally used an on-air promo billing its "series finale" to plug the season finale.