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MAR
20
3 YEARS

'CSI' Creator Anthony Zuiker Sets 'Cybergeddon' for Yahoo

The 90-minute cyber crime multipart feature will debut in the fall and mark Yahoo's latest original scripted programming offering.

Anthony Zuiker
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Anthony Zuiker

Anthony Zuiker has set his next project.

The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation creator is teaming with Yahoo for Cybergeddon, a 90-minute scripted drama exploring the growing threat of cyber crime, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The online effort, described as a "motion picture event," will debut in the fall on Yahoo as a series of installments that marks the Internet portal's latest endeavor in the original scripted content space following Electric City, a series of animated webisodes with Tom Hanks attached.

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"We have a responsibility, especially myself as a leader of industry, to make sure that we push the industry forward in the right direction as things change and we're attempting to do that," Zuiker told The Hollywood Reporter of Cybergeddon. "We're in the generation where behaviors have shifted as to how people consume content on devices and we must be part of trailblazing the future."

Zuiker dubbed Cybergeddon -- which will be written by Miles Chapman (The Tomb) -- as the latest "evolution" of the crime genre. The drama will explore the growing threat of cyber crimes, with Norton by Symantec attached as an adviser.

The former showrunner, whose online credits include the BlackBox TV channel for YouTube, says Yahoo understood the space and scale and committed to the project in a way traditional networks couldn't.

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"They're really going after A-list talent to be in that space," he said. "Going wide in the traditional motion picture world is 5,000 screens and this can be 50 million screens on premiere day in multiple languages."

Production and casting on the project kicks off this month, with Zuiker noting there's always an option to grow the project beyond the its digital home. "We don't discount the possibility that this could be turned into a bigger potion picture or television series," he said, citing an instance where a character from his digital novel, Level 26, landed on CSI.

Cybergeddon, inspired by Zuiker's frequent trips to Washington to learn about the future of crime and his CSI partner Jerry Bruckheimer's Armageddon, will also launch with a unique interactive campaign and comprehensive application for iPad, iPhone and iTouch with a level of "edutainment" and entertainment.

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Zuiker will executive produce the project alongside his Dare to Pass president Matthew Weinberg and Dolphin Digital Studios CEO Bill O'Dowd; Dolphin Digital Media backed the CAA-packaged drama.

For its part, Yahoo has 21 out of the top 25 most-watched online series, drawing 61 million unique visitors a month who watch video on the site, according to comScore. The portal earlier this month launched a pair of original scripted comedy efforts, Sketchy and Funny or Die Presents: First Dates With Toby Harris.

In the past several months, Yahoo has struck deals with Hanks and Bill Maher, broadcasting Maher's StupidCrazyPolitics show last month.

Zuiker, who recently inked an overall deal with ABC Studios, is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Morris Yorn.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit