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CSI Creator Anthony Zuiker Returns to the Writers’ Room

Justin Bieber's upcoming guest appearance isn't the only big development on CSI. Behind the scenes, Anthony Zuiker — the man who created CBS's answer to Law & Order — has quietly returned to the writers' room of the original-recipe CSI for the show's eleventh season. While he's always maintained a hand in the franchise, Zuiker hasn't been day-to-day on the series for nearly five years, working on spinoffs such as CSI:NY and other development. But execs at CBS, as well as CSI show-runner Carol Mendelsohn, thought Zuiker's penchant for over-the-top story ideas could help bring back some of the WTF-ness that was a hallmark of the show during its early years (think Lady Heather and the episode involving furry lovers). So far, Zuiker isn't disappointing in the zany department.

In one upcoming episode, "We have a shark in the pool; kind of like day clubs gone wild," Zuiker tells Vulture. Plus, for Twilight fans, there will be an hour involving a vampire and werewolf convention. Zuiker also promises a "scary as hell episode starring Ann-Margaret" that will feature the TV debut of a villain from Zuiker's first novel, Level 26: Dark Origins. While these plots may excite the CSI base, and maybe even woo back some fans who've left the show over the years (thanks to tough competition for young-adult audiences from Grey's Anatomy and The Office), it's hard to woo back those who've never cared about the CSI detectives to suddenly start doing so after eleven years.

But this is where the power of Bieber comes in! "I think all of his fans are going to follow him to CSI and stay for the whole season," Zuiker predicts, adding that the teen icon had a "very memorable" one-day visit to the set. "We ate cake, skateboarded, sang, and had a few laughs," Zuiker says. "He did a really good job." We assume Zuiker's talking about Bieber's acting rather than his cake-eating (though Bieber apparently is great at that, too).

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images