Age: 13, the second longest-running drama series on TV.
Senior Power: Frequently tops its slot with 13 million viewers.
Survival Secret: CSI founded the hugely successful sleek high-tech crime procedural format that launched numerous spin-offs and knock-offs. Most dramas get too expensive and expire after about seven years, but CBS has offset rising costs by regularly shaking up the CSI cast. While ratings declined during Laurence Fishburne’s tenure, current star Ted Danson has helped the series endure a move to Wednesday nights. Plus, everybody wants to know who killed a hooker.
Life Expectancy: Fully expected to return next season. Beyond that, CSI‘s fate will rest on its performance and whether CBS can find new worthy replacements. (And if you’re wondering which show is the oldest drama on TV, that would be NBC’s modestly rated Law & Order: SVU).
Runner-up: The more popular-yet-younger NCIS (10 years).