Zuiker talks about the days when the show was just a script that got through and writing the finale of the show after 15 years.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has definitely changed the face of how procedurals were presented on TV. The show aired on CBS in 2000 and has accentuated three spin-offs including CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber.
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The entire franchise was complimented with amazing cast members and teams. There is however a unique story of its origin. The truly remarkable story of the tram driver Anthony Zuiker who penned the phenomenon that is now known as CSI.
Variety sat down with Zuiker to talk about his journey that started 15 years ago. Zuiker said that back then he was driving a tram for $8 per hour. Meanwhile he penned down the script for a movie titled The Runner.
His endeavor was unsuccessful and he almost lost heart. His script however earned him the attention of Margaret Riley, now his manager, who then took him around agencies. He then met with the CAA who signed his script on the spot.
Back then Jonathan Littman was just starting Bruckheimer’s TV projects. Littman told him that they had to get into a narrow window of pitching season. Zuiker said that he asked for time for research and pitched the idea to ABC which went great.
Littman told Zuiker Fox and NBC didn’t want to see Zuiker because it was October then. He called up Nina Tassler, then head of drama at CBS and told her ‘I don’t know if you’ll buy it but this will be the most entertaining 20 minutes of your life.’ Tassler gave him an ultimatum to write him something great in a very short time. Zuiker said he wrote the script in three days and she said yes. To this day Zuiker is thankful to her.
From there on they embarked on a journey. The entire franchise comprises of over 800 episodes. The main show even outlived its two spin-offs and the third is still on air. The main show will complete its 15-year run with a two-hour movie airing Sunday night, with original “CSI” stars William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger returning for the final time.
Zuiker thanked Mendelsohn, Donahue, CBS’ Nina Tassler, Leslie Moonves and others who helped him along the way. And he explained why he still giggles at the sight of a certain high-end department store in Beverly Hills.
It began with 3 words... and now it's all come down to this. Tune in now for the #CSI series finale. On the go? Stream it live w/ #CBSAllAccess! Use code FALLTV for 1 month FREE: http://ow.ly/SxW4lPosted by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on Sunday, September 27, 2015
Talking about the finale, Zuiker said that he had never written a 47 pager script. He was left by the creators to do the project on his own. He said that it was like his final achievement. His exit with a big bang.
The creators and the actors and everyone was on point with the script and dedicated to completing it on a true note. He said that he has watched the finale thrice and he will be watching it with his family on its official airing as well.
He said that he was proud of all that he had accomplished in all these years. Everyone was nostalgic to see it finish but they are definitely leaving it at a point where they can continue it with a younger cast anytime in the future.