'CSI: NY' producer inks new CBS deal
Lenkov to continue on series as part of seven-figure pact"CSI: NY's" Peter Lenkov has inked a new two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios, the series producer.
Under the seven-figure pact, Lenkov will continue as an executive producer on the crime drama, which returns for a sixth season in the fall.
Lenkov joined "CSI: NY" after the first season in 2005 as a co-exec producer, but his association with the "CSI" franchise and CBS TV Studios president David Stapf dates back another five years.
In fall 2000, Lenkov was a writer-producer on a new UPN series, "Level 9," which aired in the 9 p.m. Friday slot against another rookie drama, CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
He said he was so intrigued by the promos for "CSI" that he found himself watching the forensic drama instead of his own series.
On the morning after the "CSI" premiere, Lenkov went to his daughter's soccer game and approached Stapf, then CBS' head of current programming, who was coaching the team.
"I told David Stapf, 'You have the best show on television,' " Lenkov recalled. "I was so impressed by 'CSI' and wanted to be in involved in that franchise."
Lenkov and Stapf crossed paths professionally in 2003 when Lenkov joined the CBS' "The District" as a co-exec producer. There he worked with Pam Veasey, who soon became the drama 's showrunner.
After a one-season stint on Fox's "24," Lenkov got a call in 2005 from Veasey, then newly minted exec producer-showrunner of "CSI: NY," who invited him to join the series.
The "CSI: NY" scribes are still on hiatus, but a couple of senior producers, including Veasey and Lenkov, already are writing the scripts for next season's opening episodes.
What is in store for the procedural in the fall? "Much more character," Lenkov said. "The mystery and the science are important, but people are just as important."
Lenkov, repped by CAA and attorney Jeff Finkelstein, grew up in a quiet suburb of Montreal, where "the closest thing to entertainment was the National Enquirer, which my mom would bring home sometimes," he said.
So when he came to Los Angeles fresh out of college and with no leads on how to break into the industry, he just sat down and wrote film script after film script -- seven of them.
"I wrote out of complete desperation to get any recognition, to get somebody to get past the title page, to get an agent," Lenkov said.
How did he get from there to "CSI: NY"? A clue for the fans of the mystery drama: One of the scripts he wrote was titled "Demolition Man."