Zuiker Will Be 'New York' ShowrunnerBy Caillan
March 14, 2004 - 9:21 AM
Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, will come into his own with the third instalment of the franchise, CSI: New York.
Zuiker will be the showrunner of the new spin-off, rumoured to star Gary Sinise (Apollo 13), the Winnipeg Sun reported. "I'm at a growth spurt at the moment, at a point where, after four years, I really want to run my own show," the writer-producer told the newspaper.
Although Zuiker penned the pilot script for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and created the series, it was his first foray into television. Although he was made a co-executive producer, showrunning duties were handed to TV veteran Carol Mendelsohn, who previously wrote and produced Melrose Place. When CSI: Miami came along, Ann Donahue (China Beach) took the showrunner's spot.
In many ways, New York will represent Zuiker's "coming of age" as a television producer, catapulting him into the big league alongside multi-show legends such as Law & Order creator Dick Wolf. Asked by Canadian Press whether another CSI series might "dilute" the concept, the writer had this to say: "I look at it like drinking Coca-Cola. I just don't know, if you could flood the marketplace with various cola flavours, if you could knock off Coca-Cola. I think we are the gold standard for the crime drama. We've reinvented the genre in a very palatable way."
William Petersen (Gil Grissom), star of the original CSI, is reportedly unhappy about a second spin-off. Although Zuiker said he can't speak for the actor, he said he owes him everything, since Petersen was the one who got behind his original pilot script. "The shoes I'm wearing, the car I drive, the house I live in ... I would not be where I am today if not for Billy Petersen."