The Huffington Post
December 6, 2011
By, Nicki Gostin
Anthony E. Zuiker is constantly asked, “How did the guy who drove a tram in the middle of the night at The Mirage go onto create ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’?” It’s a legitimate question, so Zuiker decided to answer it in his new book, “Mr. CSI: How A Vegas Dreamer Made A Killing In Hollywood, One Body At A Time.”
Originally conceived as a self-help book, “Mr. CSI” soon morphed into Zuiker’s personal tale of growing up as an only child abandoned by his father, and raised by his mother in Las Vegas. The book tells a story of a man, who through hard work and perseverance, became one of the most successful and celebrated creators and producers on television.
How did you come up with the idea for “CSI”?
I was watching a forensic docudrama called “The New Detectives,” and in one episode they were featuring a case about a missing cheerleader. They were focusing on a long blond hair follicle, and at the very end of it was a tag cell or seed that was attached, signifying that the hair might have been yanked out in a struggle. I remember the second I heard that I was dumbfounded at the fact that the body was and is, indeed, the perfect specimen to give clues to the investigators. At that point I realized that the twist on the cop genre was going to be forensically driven and the idea for “CSI” was born.
A big theme throughout “Mr. CSI” is your father’s abandonment. How did that affect you?
When your father abandons you at a very young age and your mother takes it upon herself to be a single mom working in the casino industry, growing up as an only child and a latchkey kid — there is a benefit to that. I had to channel the angst and abandonment into creativity. I was always a very creative and curious kid.