CSI: Cyber just aired its season one finale, and according to The Wrap, Peter MacNicol won’t be returning next season to reprise the role of FBI Assistant Deputy Director Simon Sifter, the firm, yet fair boss of Patricia Arquette’s Dr. Avery Ryan. CSI: Cyber is, of course, the third CSI spinoff, following CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. Contrary to what one might assume, CSI: Cyber is not about crime scene investigators working cases in the sleepy ranching town of Cyber, North Dakota, but about an FBI team of cyber crime investigators based out of Quantico, Virginia.
MacNicol’s deleted program is part of a larger CSI mainframe disruption, which extends to Ted Danson’s D.B. Russell character being CTRL-X cut from CSI and CTRL+V pasted into CSI: Cyber. The change is not a direct file swap, however, as Arquette’s Dr. Ryan will not report to D.B. Russell. This is despite Danson’s character knowing as much about digital attacks as the crusty old guys who run CBS, which would have made his direct oversight of a cyber crimes unit much more authentic. Rather, showrunners expressed interest in seeing a more autonomous Dr. Ryan, possibly to prevent a more autonomous Arquette from departing the show with Oscar in hand.
While Peter MacNicol won’t be around when season 2.0 is released this fall, CSI: Cyber is expected to retain the usernames and passcodes to James Van Der Beek and Shad “my filename is no longer Bow Wow” Moss.