CBS’ ‘Cold Case’, the American police-crime drama series that aired on the network from 2003 to 2010, has been off the air for years now. Unfortunately, the show was axed years ago after completing seven seasons. This doesn’t mean fans of the show don’t miss it and hope for it to be back.
One of the many things that worked for this crime series in the early 2000s, and helped gather applause from audience and critics alike, was its ability to tell real-life crime incidents as stories. The crime drama had Kathryn Morris in the lead, starring as the relentless detective Lilly Rush, alongside her right-hand Detective Chris Lassing, played by Justin Chambers. However, the lead duo only lasted for 5 episodes before Chambers’ character was written off and replaced by Detective Scotty Valens, played by Danny Pino. Interestingly, the show also features Jennifer Lawrence’s pre-fame appearances.
- What was the show about?
- What led to its cancellation?
- Is a CBS’ ‘Cold Case’ reboot possible?
What was the show about?
In a nutshell, the premise of ‘Cold Case’ revolved around the Philadelphia Police Department and Detective Lilly Rush as they worked on those cases that had not been tracked and actively pursued by the department before. Every episode focused on one specific case. The show was popular for its “double casting” where two actors played for a single character at different points in time in the chronological order of events, that is, when the incident originally took place and in the present time. The show explored and brought forward many social issues related to 20th-century history in America including racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, abortion, and police brutality, among others.
What led to its cancellation?
‘Cold Case’ aired on the network back in September 2003 and quickly became a staple of the CBS Sunday night schedule with a successful first season. A couple of seasons later, the show witnessed a drop in its overall ratings and by the fifth season, due to the writer’s strike, the show averaged a 2.9 rating and just under 11 million viewers and was ranked 28th. Seeing the drop in ratings, CBS pushed the show to its 10 pm schedule from its usual 9 pm which only made it worse for the show.
On May 18, 2010, the network announced the cancellation of the crime drama that completed seven seasons and 156 episodes in total.
Just like every other season, ‘Cold Case’ in its signature style, ended its seventh season too with a cliffhanger. The final episode titled “’Shattered’’, ended leaving viewers questioning the fate of several characters.
Is a ‘Cold Case’ reboot possible?
As the show’s sudden cancellation left many questions unanswered for many viewers, fans of the show still wonder the outcome of several characters on the show. Back in the day, despite the consistent fall in ratings, the main cast of the show called it an “interesting watch” and believed that the show was going “strong”.
In an interview with the “LA Times”,, lead actor Morris says that her role as Lilly Rush is still interesting for her to play, even within the confines of a crime procedural. She said, “Lilly has evolved from being this little beat cop to this hungry cold case detective to a person who has expanded her sole capacity. Not just with the suspects, or the victims. She has really evolved into a person that is as real to me as a relative of mine. It’s a pretty cool thing to have for this many years”.
Despite doing ‘Cold Case’ for a total of seven seasons, Morris claimed that the show was going strong. However, the show was officially cancelled by the network suddenly when it was ranked at 29th position all over. Till this date, there has been no official confirmation if the show will ever reboot so the possibility of it making a comeback in any form looks bleak. But the fans, even years later, hope for the show to return in any form and give its audience a proper closure.