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James Van Der Beek is going to star in 'CSI: Cyber', which is a real shame

Oh, James, you deserve better.

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Oh, James, you deserve better.



Sheesh, can CBS's franchise shows keep their hands off interesting TV actors already?

First, they nabbed eternal gem Scott Bakula to star in an NCIS spinoff, where he'll claim the Ted Danson Award as most underused actor on TV. You might remember Bakula from his Golden Globe-winning performance on Quantum Leap, or as a series regular on the serverely underrated dramedy Men of A Certain Age, or from his fantastic turn as an older gay man last year on HBO's Looking. We're not counting on NCIS: New Orleans to provide such interesting material.

Now it's James Van Der Beek's turn. Deadline is reporting that the erstwhile Dawson's Creek star has been cast in CSI: Cyber, yet another spinoff of the CSI franchise about Internet crimes. Yawn. The show stars Patricia Arquette (who also deserves better; have you seen Boyhood?) as an agent who heads the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI. Van Der Beek plays FBI Agent Elijah Mundo, an expert in battlefield forensics.

Van Der Beek is coming off the dud Friends With Better Lives (also on CBS), but before that he starred on ABC's Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, his first regular role since Dawson's Creek in the '90s. On Don't Trust the B, he was a revelation, all grown up and playing a character designed to ape his post-Creek image. It was great! "Where has James Van Der Beek been the past 10 years?," we all exclaimed. (Or was that just me?) The role seemed to indicate a fun turn for the Beek, a career that would let him show how funny and appealing he could be.

And now he's stuck on the CBS conveyor belt, giving up interesting projects to star in a rote procedural, presumably for the next 10 years.

Sure, NCIS and its acronym cousin CSI are hands-down two of the most popular shows on TV. People like these shows, we get it. But that doesn't mean we have to like when people like Bakula and Van Der Beek get sucked into them. Free the Beek!

[Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 2:18pm]


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