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‘CSI’ loads Cannon for triple duty

Hyphenate to exec produce, helm, pen episodes

“CSI” stalwart Danny Cannon has inked a deal that ups him to exec producer on all three editions of the CBS forensics franchise — including the upcoming Gotham spinoff.

Cannon also has been tapped to direct the pilot for “CSI: New York,” a self-contained episode of “CSI: Miami” that will begin filming early next month. Deal gives Cannon the hat trick: Hyphenate also directed pilots for original recipe “CSI” and extra-spicy “Miami.”

One-year pact also calls for Cannon — who had been co-exec producer on “Miami” and exec producer of the Las Vegas-based original — to write episodes of the latter skein while directing segs of all three.

“The visual style of ‘CSI’ is so distinctive, and Danny has a lot to do with that,” CBS chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves told Daily Variety. “He’s a very important part of the team, and we’re real happy he’s doing the pilot.”

Bruckheimer Films TV topper Jonathan Littman said Cannon was responsible for “helping to bring to life the forensic” science at the heart of the show. Success of classic “CSI” spawned a slew of clones, which has presented Cannon with a challenge.

“He’s constantly having to find ways to make it new, make it fresh and never let it get routine,” Littman said. “Everyone’s copying us now, and we have to stay ahead of the curve.”

Anthony Zuiker, who created the original “CSI,” will create the extra-crispy Gotham spinoff and write its pilot with his fellow “CSI” and “CSI: Miami” exec producers Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue.

All three — as well as Cannon and Jerry Bruckheimer — will be exec producers on “CSI: New York,” with Zuiker serving as showrunner. Donahue continues to run “CSI: Miami,” while Mendelsohn retains day-to-day oversight of the original “CSI.” CBS Prods., Alliance Atlantis and Bruckheimer Films produce all three skeins.

ICM-repped Cannon, meanwhile, will continue developing feature projects. He wrote and is set to direct “Harm’s Way,” which is in the works at Bruckheimer Films.

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