‘CSI: Vegas’: Mel Rodriguez Exits as a Series Regular Ahead of Season 2

Mel Rodriguez as Hugo Ramirez in CSI Vegas
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CSI: Vegas is going to look different for its second season, and not just because it will be without the two characters connecting it to the original series, Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox).

One of the new cast members, Mel Rodriguez (Chief Medical Examiner Hugo Ramirez) will not be returning as a series regular, TVLine reports. It sounds like he could guest star in the future. The new team for the sequel series also includes Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby, Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom, and Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan.

Rodriguez’s exit comes after showrunner Jason Tracey had told TV Insider of his hope to “populate the world [of the morgue] more fully and tell more stories down there” in Season 2 after the finale. That’s “a fascinating place,” he said. “I did a morgue pilot once upon a time and did a lot of research down there. The folks that do that job, it’s an incredible sacrifice and it’s a calling. Those characters are fascinating.”

This news comes only two days after Fox announced that she would not be returning. (Petersen had only signed on for one season.) “For me CSI has always been a love story. The story that people can find love in the darkest of places and times. And the story that love, even in the darkest of places and times, can expand and grow roots and endure,” she explained in a series of tweets. “I personally just can’t split Sara and Grissom up again. So goes Grissom….So goes Sara. Wherever they go, they belong together… keep tuning in! I know I will. CSI VEGAS has an incredible team and it should be an amazing show!”

So far, we don’t know much about what to expect from Season 2, other than the new serial killer that has been teased, The end of the Season 1 finale saw someone writing something everywhere in a completely white room. “We’re going to open up a whole new box of toys for Season 2,” Tracey teased. “There’s more there than meets the eye. There’s a whole invented language behind those little doodles on the wall… we’re excited to hopefully roll out a whole new serialized mystery that won’t be necessarily quite as all-encompassing and every episode as this season’s serialized story, but there’s a lot of twists and turns ahead.”

CSI: Vegas, Season 2, TBA, CBS