In Cannes to receive the 2013 Pioneer Prize at the International Digital Emmy Awards tonight, CSI franchise creator Anthony E. Zuiker talked about NBC drama pilot Wonderland during a Q&A this afternoon. Zuiker, who’s exec producing the series, said the Whit Anderson-scripted show will follow Alice and a new character, Clara. Clara is “having the worst day of her life” when she is sent to Wonderland where it turns out her father has been living for several years. To get her life back on track, Clara must rise up against Wonderland’s reigning Queen, the woman once known as Alice. Deadline recently reported that the pilot will not be produced within the regular pilot season because of the scale and complexity of the production.
Zuiker also spoke about Cybergeddon, the series for which he’s being honored here at Mip-TV. The online thriller launched on Yahoo in September last year in 25 different countries and 10 different languages. Oliver Martinez and Missy Peregrym starred in the series about the growing threat of cybercrime. Notably, the series partnered with Symantec which helped on the tech aspect, but also featured heavily. “We explained the value to them for a (project with) a shelf life of 30 years,” Zuiker said. “A 30-second spot on CSI cost $1M” at the time, but “for that same $1M for Symantec, you make a movie with a shelf life. You can’t cut the brand out of the movie,” but an ad “goes away in the blink of an eye,” he explained. Zuiker noted that he’s developing projects that involve such brands as Samsung and Dr Pepper. “Bringing a product to life and seeing it in a different way is really exciting.” Read More »
There is a familiar face in the CSI writers room this summer, series creator Anthony Zuiker, who has returned to the mothership series. A decade ago, Zuiker was an young writer with no TV credits when he created CSI and was paired with showrunners Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue. He had hands-on involvement on the CBS show for the first 4 years, first alongside Mendelsohn and Donahue and then alongside Mendelsohn who became the series’ sole showrunner in 2002 when Donahue took over the reins of spinoff CSI: Miami. Two years later, Zuiker moved over to spinoff CSI: NY, which he ran the first season. For the past several years, he had taken a back seat in the day-to-day operations on the 3 CSI series while developing new projects under his deal with CBS TV Studios and pursuing other projects, such as his digi-novel Level 26: Dark Origins. That changed earlier this summer when he called Mendelsohn and told her he wanted to return to the mothership series. The last script for the CSI franchise that had Zuiker’s name on it was CSI:NY‘s Run Silent, Run Deep in 2006 but he has done uncredited work on other episodes since then. The last CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode he was credited on as a co-writer was the 2-episode arc in 2005 based on an idea and directed by Quentin Tarantino. (Zuiker co-wrote the episodes with Mendelsohn and former CSI executive producer Naren Shankar). Back then, … Read More »
CSI mavens Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue are staying at the helm of CBS’ veteran crime drama franchise. Each has inked a new four-year eight-figure overall deal with CSI producer CBS TV Studios. Medelsohn will continue to executive produce and showrun the mothership CSI series, which anchors the CBS Thursday schedule at 9PM. She also is executive producing the new CBS/CBS Studios drama The Defenders. Donahue will continue to executive produce and run CSI: Miami, which moves to Sundays 10PM this fall. The new pacts succeed Mendelsohn and Donahue’s previous four-year eight-figure deals with CBS Studios, which expired in mid-June. Both have been under overall pacts at the studio since 2001. “Every studio dreams of having producers with this kind of passion and leadership on the set and in the writer’s room,” CBS TV Studios president David Stapf said. “It was very important to us that Carol and Ann remain not only part of CSI, but the CBS family too.”
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