I'm with you on the original CSI. I actually really like the characters there even if they're not as fully evolved as on other shows. Contrary to the other CSI's they actually come off as a team and are likeable IMHO (I particularly enjoy Grissom).
They also come across as people who try to base their judgement solely on facts and don't prejudge. I also think they're not as arrogant and righteous as some of the characters on the other CSI's.
Concerning the news itself, I think that's pretty cool. Weddle and Thompson have done some great work on DS9 and nuBSG IMHO, and I think they'll probably continue doing well on CSI.