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Adam Arkin

Anthony Zuiker Biography

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Birth Name: Anthony Zuiker
Born: 08/17/1968
Birth Place: Blue Island, Illinois, USA

Anthony Zuiker didn't just create one of television's most successful series when he wrote the pilot for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS 2000- ), he created a multi-million dollar franchise. The forensic police procedural show was such a phenomenal success that it spawned two spin-offs -- "CSI: Miami" (CBS 2002-12) and "CSI: NY" (CBS 2004-13) -- as well as a slew of tie-in novels, comic books, video games and even a interactive science exhibition. Zuiker often professed himself to be amazed that his initial script for the show's science-heavy pilot was filmed virtually unchanged as he didn't know the rules of television storytelling. His continuing disregard of conventional wisdom led him to create a new form of storytelling -- what he termed the "digi-novel" -- with his successful "Level 26" series of serial killer thrillers, and to explore new forms of digital distribution with his webseries "Cybergeddon."

Zuiker was born in Illinois in 1968, but his parents moved to Las Vegas when he was six months old. After studying English at Arizona State University for three years, he transferred to southern California's University of La Verne in California. Zuiker's first professional credit was on the screenplay of the Las Vegas-set crime thriller "The Runner" (1999). He was working as a tram driver in Los Angeles when he first came up with the idea for "CSI" after watching an episode of the true crime documentary series "The New Detectives: Case Studies in Forensic Science" (Discovery 1996-2005).

Zuiker's script caught the eye of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who filmed it for CBS with William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger in the lead roles. The show was an immediate critical and commercial success. Within two years, the spin-off "CSI: Miami" (CBS 2002-12), starring David Caruso was on the air, followed by "CSI: NY (CBS 2004-13), starring Gary Sinise. All three "CSI" shows were hugely successful -- ardent fan Quentin Tarantino even directed a two-part episode for the original series in 2005 -- but neither of the spin-offs eclipsed the original. In 2012, "CSI" was named the most-watched show in the world for the fifth time by the Festival de Télévision de Monte Carlo.

Although busy as both writer and producer on all three "CSI" shows, in 2010 Zuiker found the time to co-write (with Duane Swierczynski) Dark Origins, the first of the Level 26 "digi-novel" series featuring elite crime investigator Steve Dark hunting a mysterious serial killer, "Sqweegel," who had first appeared in season 11 of "CSI." Every few chapters, readers were invited to visit the website and click on a specific "cyberbridge," consisting of film footage directed by Zuiker himself. The novel spawned two sequels. Zuiker's cybercrime webseries "Cybergeddon" premiered on Yahoo in the fall of 2012.