The pilot will air as a planted spinoff episode of “CSI” this spring.
The untitled project will be written by Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony Zuiker and Ann Donahue. The series revolves around the work of FBI cyber-psychologist Mary Aiken. Jerry Bruckheimer and Bruckheimer TV’s Jonathan Littman exec produce along with the troika for CBS TV Studios. Aiken will serve as a producer.
Conceit of the spinoff revolves around the effort to chase technology-amplified larceny by faceless criminals who commit global crimes with touch of a button. Drama will center on Avery Ryan, Special Agent in Charge at the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI in Quantico and her focus on crimes that start in the mind, live online and play out in the real world.
Project reconvenes the original braintrust of “CSI.” Anthony Zuiker was a TV newbie at the time he sold his pilot script for the show in 1999. Drama vets Mendelsohn and Donahue were brought on board to help him run the series, which became a hit for the Eye in its first season in 2000-01. Mendelsohn has remained with “CSI” during its 14 season (and counting) run on CBS, while Donahue left in 2002 to oversee “CSI: Miami” while Zuiker later steered “CSI: NY.”
Since its debut in 2000, “CSI” has been an enduring procedural for the Eye, and its Gotham- and Miami-set spinoffs saw healthy nine and 10-season runs, respectively. Without a spinoff of “CSI” currently on air to franchise out the CBS Wednesday night procedural, the cyber crime-themed planted pilot could be the first to rev up the “CSI” franchise universe since “NY’s” cancellation in spring 2013.