‘CSI: Vegas’ Sets Eric Szmanda as Latest Original Series Return in Season 2

Eric Szmanda for 'CSI'
Joe Pugliese / TV Guide / ©CBS / courtesy Everett Collection

Remember when CSI creator Anthony Zuiker and star Marg Helgenberger shared with us that another original series cast member would be showing up on Vegas this season? Well, now we know who it is.

TV Insider has learned that Eric Szmanda is reprising his role as Greg Sanders in CSI: Vegas Episode 217, airing sometime in 2023 and reuniting him with Helgenberger. (Episode 9 of the current season is the fall finale on December 15 and episode 10 will be the winter premiere on January 5.)

Szmanda first appeared as Greg (then a lab tech, later a CSI, eventually promoted to Level 3) in the pilot of the CBS procedural’s original run (2000-2015). He recurred for the first two seasons before being upped to series regular. He was last seen when the original series ended with “Immortality” in 2015.

Szmanda’s return comes after we’ve already seen a few stars from CSI in Vegas. William Petersen and Jorja Fox returned as Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle, respectively, for the first season, with their absences in the second explained in the premiere with Josh (Matt Lauria) noting, “They’re on a boat above the Arctic Circle.” Paul Guilfoyle (as Jim Brass) and Wally Langham (as David Hodges) also returned for Season 1, as part of the season-long case. And Helgenberger returned for the second season, with Catherine Willows first aiming to solve a case personal to her, then deciding to stay after doing so. (Katie Stevens also reprised her role as Catherine’s daughter — after playing Lindsey in the original series finale — this season.)

When we spoke with Zuiker and Helgenberger in October about a Catherine-centric episode and asked if any other original series cast members would be showing up, Zuiker teased, “I will say yes, but I shall not mention names. But there shall be a face that might be quite familiar in the episode I’m writing, Episode 217.” Added Helgenberger, “That’s what I hear. It’s top secret at this point.”

CSI: Vegas, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS