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Anthony E. Zuiker
Born (1968-08-17) August 17, 1968 (age 55)
Blue Island, Illinois, United States
Alma materUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas (B.A.)
Years active1988–present
Spouse(s)Jennifer Zuiker (divorced)
Michelle Territo
(m. 2013)

Anthony E. Zuiker (pronounced /ˈzkər/;[1] born August 17, 1968) is an American television writer, television producer, and author. He is best known as the creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He produced all five editions of the CSI franchise: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, CSI: Cyber and CSI: Vegas. His production company is Dare to Pass.[2]

Besides his work on CSI, he created the murder mystery show Whodunnit?. Zuiker was also the creator of the web series Cybergeddon. He received a 2013 Pioneer Award from the International Digital Emmy Awards for Cybergeddon. In 2011, he launched BlackBoxTV for YouTube.[3] Most recently, Zuiker launched his first animated series for kids, Mysteryopolis, on Nabi tablets.[4]

Life and career

Zuiker was born in Blue Island, Illinois.[5] When he was six months old, his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where his mother, Diana, worked as a blackjack dealer, and his father as a maître d'.[5][6] Zuiker attended Chaparral High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. He attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, for three years and then transferred to the University of La Verne in La Verne, California, before transferring to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he graduated. During all four years he was involved in competitive forensics, advancing as far as semifinals at the national speech tournament.

His first script named The Runner was given to the William Morris Agency by his high school friend Dustin Lee Abraham (who worked as a runner for the Jewish mob while in high school) and returned with the message "No on writer, no on movie."[7][8] Zuiker was demoralized stating "I was like, wow that’s a bummer."[7] After initially failing with the William Morris Agency, they sold the script to a Showtime director for a mere $25,000 before the Creative Artists Agency had reviewed it.[8] CAA had found a lucrative buyer but the director refused to sell and instead produced what Abraham felt was a lackluster movie, The Runner, in 1999 (although it starred John Goodman, Courteney Cox, and Ron Eldard).[8]

This early effort led him to pursue scriptwriting as a profession. In a talk at the International Mystery Writers Festival in June 2008, Zuiker said that he was working as a tram driver in Las Vegas when he came up with the idea for the series. He said he was about to go out to play basketball with some friends when his first wife asked him to stay in and watch The New Detectives on the Discovery Channel. "I decided to stay, and that changed everything". He also freely admitted that he knew nothing about writing for TV and therefore his pilot script "broke all the rules," thereby creating the programs' characteristic visual and storytelling styles. His concept was picked up by David Seltzer at Addis/Wechsler who showed it to his manager Margaret Riley and they proceeded to market it to the various agencies.[7] Creative Artists agent Scott Greenberg liked the script and brought him to the attention of Jonathan Littman, president of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, and Zuiker was signed to produce for television.[7] Nina Tassler, then head of drama at CBS successfully pitched the script to her superiors and a contract was signed.[7]

The show's success led a joint venture overall deal with CBS Productions and Alliance Atlantis, which occurred on June 5, 2003.[9]


On October 25, 2007, he received the Big Brother Award Austria 2007 in the category of communication and marketing. The jury[10] stated among other things, "The CSI television series present computer surveillance, DNA-analysis and the overthrow of civil rights in an uncritical, trivialized and dangerously onesided kind of way". Furthermore, the rights of people in general and the suspects in particular would be pictured primarily as impediments of investigations.

Personal life

In 1999, he married his first wife, Jennifer Zuiker, with whom he has three sons. The couple later divorced.[citation needed] In 2013, he married schoolteacher Michelle Territo.[11]


On September 8, 2009, Zuiker released Level 26: Dark Origins, a book with associated web-based motion picture and interactive elements which he terms a "digi-novel".[12] Zuiker has produced 20 cinematic cyber-bridges, which readers will be prompted to view online using special codes embedded in the book's text every 20 pages or so. The website and online community was created with the help of Miles Beckett, the creator of hit faux vlogger lonelygirl15. "I wanted to tell a story 'too hot' for television while at the same time giving the existing crime reader a different experience,[13] " says Zuiker.

On October 14, 2010, Level 26: Dark Prophecy was released and a third Level 26 book was released in 2011;[needs update] it was also released as an iPad application,[14][15] which was designed and developed by Hooray.

Sqweegel, the forensic-proof serial killer from the first Level 26 novel Dark Origins, appeared in a season 11 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as the central character.

Zuiker released a personal memoir in 2011, Mr. CSI: How a Vegas Dreamer Made a Killing in Hollywood, One Body at a Time (Harper Collins). He is also the author of Whodunnit?: Murder in Mystery Manor (Hyperion).


A new school theater is named after him: the Anthony E. Zuiker Theater at the Chaparral High School (Nevada). Zuiker is a 1986 graduate of the school.


  1. ^ Carter, Bill (August 11, 2003). "From Creator of 'C.S.I.,' Testimonials to Himself". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  2. ^ Schneider, Michael (July 9, 2009). "Zuiker's shingle parks on CBS lot". Variety. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  3. ^ Shen, Maxine (April 13, 2012). "CSI's Anthony Zuiker is back with BlackBoxTV Web fears". New York Post. Retrieved June 18, 2018 – via NYP Holdings, Inc.
  4. ^ Snider, Mike (December 27, 2014). "'CSI' creator brings crime-solving series to Nabi tablets". USA Today.
  5. ^ a b Foster, Tom (September 1, 2009). "Beyond CSI: Inside Anthony Zuiker's New Cross-Platform Experiment". Fast Company.
  6. ^ Smiley, Tavis (May 23, 2006). "Anthony Zuiker". KCET. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e Littleton, Cynthia (September 27, 2015). "'CSI' Finale: Creator Anthony Zuiker on Emotional Endings, Origins and Longevity". Variety.
  8. ^ a b c Ducker, Eric (May 18, 2017). "How a Speech & Forensics Coach Wrote the Script for 'How High'". Mass Appeal. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Adalian, Josef (June 5, 2003). "CBS high on 'CSI' guy for overall deal". Variety. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "Jury - Big Brother Awards 2007".
  11. ^ Stanhope, Kate (December 27, 2012). "CSI Creator Anthony Zuiker Divorced, Plans to Remarry". TV Guide.
  12. ^ "San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Hasbro's Transformers Terrorcon Cliffjumper, Rust in Peace Edition - Dread Central". June 22, 2012.
  13. ^ "Level 26: Dark Origins". September 8, 2009. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Cormier, Jeff (February 19, 2011). "Dark Prophecy. CSI creator releases amazing iPad Digi-Novel".
  15. ^ "CSI Creator Releases Level 26: Dark Prophecy e-book Exclusively for the iPad" (Press release). February 15, 2011.