CSI Producer Seeks To Do For History What 'CSI' Did For ScienceBy Deborah
August 31, 2006 - 8:21 AM
36 year old Josh Berman boasts an impressive resume. By 26, he earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton, a master’s degree in history as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Sydney in Australia, as well as a JD and MBA from Stanford. He received two Emmy nominations during his six years as a CSI writer-producer.
Berman now has something else to add to his stellar pedigree. He is the creator of a new series, “Vanished” (Mondays at 9:00 p.m.), an edge-of-your-seat drama centered on the wife (Joanne Kelley) of a Georgia Senator (John Allen Nelson) who goes missing. Her disappearance turns out to be part of a much larger conspiracy, dating back thousands of years.
Berman was still at “CSI” when he inked a four-year deal to create pilots at 20th Century Fox Television. His goal was to write and produce his own serialized mystery show. The plot point for “Vanished” came about during a lunch meeting last year with Dana Walden, co-president of 20th Century Fox Television. They were discussing their mutual fascination with the manner in which the media handles cases of missing women.
“I thought it’s a very interesting relationship between the news media, the police and the families,” Berman said. “Originally when these investigations start out, the women are put on holier-than-thou territory and then through the process of investigation, particularly the long ones, other sides are shown to them.” Berman put his history background to good use for “Vanished.” “What if this woman was from a Kennedeyesque family and she goes missing and how can I root that into a historical tapestry, where it makes sense, where it’s not just a kidnapping?” he recalled thinking.
“I want to do for history what ‘CSI’ did for science,” Berman said. “I know, it sounds wild. But basically we will uncover that this woman’s disappearance is not an isolated event but part of an ongoing conspiracy that goes back thousands of years that’s been building and building to a crucial point now.”
Much like fans of Fox’s “Prison Break” and ABC’s “Lost,” “Vanished” viewers will be able to do their own sleuthing. The clues embedded in “Vanished” will have historical significance.
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