CSI. CSI: New York. CSI: Miami. CSI:Cyber. Even CSI: The Experience. All of these are the brainchild of one Anthony Zuiker.
Anthony wants to be the best. He wants to have it all. Known to have an infectious whit, full of energy, Anthony is a “take-no-prisoners” type. He sees greatness ahead. Why wouldn’t he? He’s single-handedly built an empire for CBS: The CSI Empire. He’s now worth over $100 million.
That’s a far cry from where he was at the beginning of his career.
Anthony moved to Vegas when he was 3. His parents were both in the hospitality business (fitting, being they lived in Vegas). As an only child, he had to keep himself entertained so he created board games: over 500 of them. After college, he worked at the Mirage Casino as an $8 per hour tram driver. He made the most of that opportunity. He took that time to learn from his international passengers how to say hello and how are you in their native tongues. He was able to nail 20 languages during that time.
Holding down an inauspicious day job, he immersed himself in his writing. He caught a lucky break, selling his first script for $35,000. A princely sum for an $8 an hour worker. The film itself was forgettable, but being a Vegas guy, he parlayed that success to an opportunistic pitch session with Leonardo DiCaprio.
He got the gig – writing a script for DiCaprio, beating out Oscar nominated writers. Unfortunately, that film never saw the light of day. Not dissuaded, he doubled down and turned that opportunity into another one. He got a call from Jerry Bruckheimer.
He liked Anthony’s writing style. He asked what Anthony might like to do for television. Inspired by a show he just watched with his wife on TV, The New Detectives, he said, what about a show about a forensic crime team.
The rest, as they say, is history….