Liz Vassey is leaving CSI. Vassey plays Wendy Simms on CSI, and is leaving the show because her contract option wasn’t picked up. This is an upsetting move by the show, as it really seemed like the character of Wendy Simms was really developing to the point where she could become a full time player on the show. For most of her time on the show, Simms served as one of the CSI’s working in the lab, often processing evidence, but always involved with some crucial twist in the cases that the team was presented with. She was also a great source for humorous moments and a step away from the darker plots the show has seemed to move toward.
One of the unrealized plot lines within CSI was the developing relationship between Wendy Simms and the character played by Wallace Langham (David Hodges). Simms was the lab worker that always kept Hodges grounded, and in the past season it seemed like they were really close to becoming a couple on the show. They have that on-screen chemistry that made audiences really like the friendship they had developed, and now the writers are really going to leave us wanting more with this recent news.
Losing a character like Wendy Simms, even though she may have just been a supporting character to the show, is actually much worse than the people controlling the money may realize. It’s possible that this move could even cost them a few viewers.
The news that Liz Vassey was leaving CSI was spilled by Michael Ausiello last night, and he has already confirmed this through a source close to the show. It’s sad news that they will be losing Vassey, but apparently the show is planning on going in a different creative direction next season. It’s unclear what that direction might be, but losing someone like this from the cast doesn’t really seem like a move in the right direction.
There are several other stars on the show currently in negotiations for new contracts, so it’s also possible that Vassey won’t be the only character that doesn’t get brought back for another season. Is this the first sign that CSI is on its last legs as a standalone show? Or will they pull an “ER“, and simply cycle out one cast in favor of a younger and hipper (and cheaper) set of replacements?
The next season of CSI will be its 11th on CBS, and though ratings have slipped in the past few years, it is still one of the bigger shows on the network, and one that has been very reliable for Thursday night ratings. How many years are left in the show is a question that only the writers might now, but maybe they are trying to shake things up in order to pad the number of years it can stay on the air.