The CSI Files:Interview: Anthony E. Zuiker

January 31st, 2012

The CSI Files
January 31, 2012
Posted by Shane Saunders

Anthony E. Zuikers reputation as a creative genius has long been established thanks to his work on the most-watched franchise in television history CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: New York; and with his new deal at ABC, his résumé is soon to become even more impressive. One of the top innovators in the movement to introduce new platforms for consuming entertainment, Zuiker is hard at work creating groundbreaking projects for his new venture at Google while working concurrently on television development at ABC. The executive producer discusses his upcoming development slate and the future of the CSI franchise with CSI Files’ Shane Saunders.

CSI Files: It’s a new year, new projects. How is 2012 looking so far for Dare to Pass?

Anthony E. Zuiker: It’s looking great. We’re very excited to be at ABC and working on our development for the year, and also Chameleon. We’re off to a great start. I can’t believe that it’s almost February.

CSI Files: What’s in development at ABC that you can talk about?

Zuiker: I’m writing the script for Chameleon. It’s basically an undercover show about a female agent who does different costume changes to take down the bad guy, so I’m writing that as we speak. We have other shows I can’t quite get into for next season that we’re developing. We have a roster of five-to-seven projects for next season that we’re just starting to get into now.

CSI Files: Your memoir Mr. CSI has been out for a couple months. What kind of feedback are you getting?

Zuiker: Pretty good feedback. I think people are happy to read an autostory to kind of get some perspective on a person behind a show. It’s a human rags-to-riches story and a real story that I think people can relate to. I’m very proud of those efforts and I’m very proud of that being left behind for people to read and enjoy. A lot of people ask me, “How do you do what I did?” and I think the great metaphor about the book is one great idea and a little bit of luck can turn into something fantastic. Everybody can have the same opportunity I had.

CSI Files: The way you came into the business is a rather interesting story and you touch on it in the book. Do you think it’s harder to get into the entertainment industry today than it was in 2000? What advice do you have for those trying to break in now?

Zuiker: I don’t think it’s necessarily harder, I just think it’s different. The advice I have for young people or whoever wants to get into the business is it all comes down to the same core principles: talent, perserverance, networking, luck, and opportunity. I think those are the five things that matter whether you’re a producer or a director or a writer. The great thing about being a writer is it’s relatively inexpensive to write a piece of intellectual property that can be shopped around town. Hollywood is a beast that needs to be fed in terms of material and as long as that’s the case, everybody has a ticket to play it.

CSI Files: Your background is in writing, but you also directed the first two installments of the Level 26 series. Are you planning on getting more involved in directing?

Zuiker: Sure. Primarily I’m a writer, so we have a lot of work to do in that area. Eventually, as things open up, I think I’ll direct more. I do enjoy it. But my primary focus right now really is writing.

CSI Files: The final installment of the Level 26 series came out last month. The digi-novel concept was quite a success, but is there anything you would change about the next series?

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