‘CSI’ mavens set deals with CBS

Mendelsohn, Donahue re-up as showrunners

“CSI’s” top operatives are staying on the case for another four years.

Carol Mendelsohn, exec producer and showrunner of the “CSI” mothership, and Ann Donahue, exec producer/showrunner of “CSI: Miami,” have inked separate four-year deals with CBS Television Studios.

The deals are valued in the eight-figure range, in recognition of the importance of the “CSI” franchise to the Eye and Mendelsohn and Donahue’s status as top-tier showrunners. Both have been under exclusive overall deals with CBS TV Studios (and its predecessors) since 2001.

“Every studio dreams of having producers with this kind of passion and leadership on the set and in the writer’s room,” said CBS TV Studios prexy David Stapf. “It was very important to us that they remain not only part of ‘CSI,’ but the CBS family too.”

CBS Entertainment boss Nina Tassler was equally effusive: “Carol and Ann are two of the best showrunners of this decade,” she said.

In addition to steering “CSI,” Mendelsohn will shepherd the new fall drama “The Defenders” for CBS and CBS Television Studios. She’s an exec producer on the series that stars Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell as Las Vegas defense attorneys.

Although “CSI” and “CSI: Miami” have seen some aud erosion in recent seasons, the franchise, which also encompasses “CSI: NY,” remains a cash cow for CBS Corp. and the shows are still vital pieces of CBS’ primetime sked.

The Eye’s research department recently concluded that “CSI” at present ranks as the most-watched program in the world. It’s licensed in some 200 territories. “CSI: Miami” ranks in the top 5 of U.S. TV imports in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Italy, among other overseas markets.

Mendelsohn and Donahue are repped by WME.

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