''CSI'' creator plans two new series. One's another ''CSI'' spinoff, the other a reality rap contest pitting amateurs against stars

By Gary Susman
Updated August 11, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”CSI: Crime Scene Investigaton” and ”CSI: Miami” creator Anthony Zuiker has two new shows in the works, but he seems to have ideas for many more. While the original ”CSI” is TV’s top-rated show, Zuiker has yet to earn the kind of recognition that has gone to ”Law & Order”’s Dick Wolf, TV’s current franchise king. He tells the New York Times, ”I sit back as Anthony Zuiker and go: ‘O.K. Dick Wolf. God bless you.’ Please. What am I — chopped liver? Why can’t we have three shows? I’ve read it a thousand times: He’s the godfather of the spinoff, and this and that. Why can’t Anthony Zuiker have three? You know, I have the biggest show of the decade. Why can’t we have three? I want to get into the business like anybody else. I want to support my family. I want to make my bones. I want to win Emmys. Let’s talk.”

Zuiker’s next project, of course, is a third ”CSI,” set in a city yet to be determined. Although he tells the Times, ”Another spinoff is maybe two years away,” a CBS executive tells the paper that network entertainment boss Leslie Moonves ”is leaning toward asking for the third at the start of next season.” The cooperative Zuiker, 34, says he would be ”totally down” with an earlier start date.

Zuiker’s other pending idea is a show called ”Ruckus,” which he describes as the first hip-hop reality game show. Actually, CBS’ cable sibling Showtime is planning to debut the first rap reality contest this fall. ”Interscope Presents The Next” will pit aspiring MCs from five cities against each other in ”8 Mile”-style rhyme duels. Zuiker’s idea is similar, but it would pit four amateurs against each other for a chance to face a seasoned pro, ”trying for their dream shot, a chance to rap against somebody like Snoop Dogg.” Moonves, who said Zuiker’s pitch involved ”break-dancing on his head all around the room,” said the show was a candidate to air on CBS’ sister network, UPN.

CSI: Miami

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