July 19, 2011 2:34pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Marisa Guthrie
'CSI' Creator Jumps to ABC Studios
Just as CSI is changing its home, moving from Thursdays to Wednesdays in the fall, franchise creator Anthony Zuiker is also on the move.
The writer/executive producer is moving from CBS TV Studios, where he has had a deal for the past 12 years, to ABC Studios.
Under the three-year, first-look deal, Zuiker and his company, Dare to Pass, will partner on developing scripted series with Brillstein Entertainment Partners, which also is based at ABC Studios. Perhaps ironically, ABC Studios passed on CSI more than a decade ago.
The pact is effective immediately and reunites him with Brillstein TV, with whom he developed a project last season. Brillstein Entertainment Partners recently extended its deal with ABC Studios. Zuiker will work closely with new TV topper JoAnn Alfano to develop new series.
Zuiker is still an executive producer on the CSI franchise but does not serve as showrunner on any of them. This fall, CSI will lose its longtime Thursday night time slot to J.J. Abrams' freshman drama Person of Interest with CSI moving to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. It will also have a new leading man, with Ted Danson replacing Laurence Fishburne.
The once top-rated CSI has seen its ratings drop since original star William Petersen departed the show in December 2008. The series posted its lowest-rated finale ever in May, drawing 11.4 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. Still, CSI stands as the most-watched series in the world, spawning two spinoffs, which are licensed in more than 200 markets globally.