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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Is Way More Popular Than You Think

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" was a fantastic series from CBS. Running for an impressive 15 seasons, the show followed a specialist team of investigators in Las Vegas. The team hosted impressive talent in forensics, blood splatter analysis, psychology, botany, and even entomology. Starring William Petersen, Wallace Langham, Ted Danson, Elisabeth Shue, Laurence Fishburne, and Paul Guilfoyle, "CSI" entertained audiences with impeccable police work and interesting interactions with its diverse and robust cast, as well as riveting stories involving the apprehension of criminals or vindication of the innocent.

"CSI" originally aired from October 2000 to September 2015, and the show currently has an 81% audience score across all seasons on Rotten Tomatoes -– it also earned a staggering 68 awards and 127 nominations (via IMDb) during its long run. "CSI" was so well-received that it spawned three spinoff shows, as wells as novelizations, a museum, and video games. It should come as no surprise that "CSI" is a household name at this point, but how popular exactly was the series?

How popular is CSI?

In 2012, "CSI" earned the "International Television Audience Award for a Drama TV Series," which was the fifth time the show managed to snag the aforementioned award (via HuffPost). This meant that "CSI" was the most popular television show in the world, and it attracted an average of 63 million global viewers per episode (via Mystery Tribune). To put things into perspective, the series finale of "Game of Thrones" had 19.3 million viewers — or around 44 million with later streaming, as reported by CNN.

The show has even had a real-life impact, which is referred to as the "CSI Effect." This is the concept that viewers of the popular television show have wildly different expectations as to what is possible with forensic science, believing prosecutors should have to present more forensic types of evidence during trials, according to SSRN. Ultimately, "CSI" was one of the biggest hits in recent television history, and with 337 episodes in the main series, "CSI" will likely run in syndication for a long time.