Josh Berman, Executive Producer on C.S.I.
But Berman's time with C.S.I. will eventually end. Given his talent and success, he's getting other opportunities. Recently he signed a four-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox to write new pilots, and for one that he called "Deviant Behavior," he focused on creating a new larger-than-life criminal every week. The show was set in San Francisco and featured officers from the police department's deviant behavior division who are trained to investigate the most grotesque crimes. Berman developed an entire world around this idea, with characters and detailed back stories. He projected the show's episodes throughout the anticipated season and sketched out a series arch. Dana Walden, an executive at Twentieth Century Fox, told Variety in August 2005, just before the show was to air, that she and her associates had been impressed with Berman's effort. "He demonstrated an ability to be inventive conceptually," she said, and she liked how he quickly made adjustments when asked.
Since Berman was still working on C.S.I., he watched the pilot he had penned go into other hands, but he was confident his vision would endure. Unfortunately, the series, which aired on Friday nights as "Killer Instinct," didn't see its anticipated success. "It was cancelled," Berman states, adding, "It's doing fantastically in the U.K., but unfortunately it just didn't work here."
Still, he knows he currently has the best of both worlds. He can write on a series he loves, C.S.I., while branching out more creatively into as-yet unexplored arenas. He's already at work on another series, "Vanished," which will feature a missing persons case. The entire series follows the political kidnapping of Sarah Collins, a senator's wife, and will involve the perspectives of different participants, from family to reporters to investigators. Berman told Daily Variety that he was happy to have the opportunity to work on a police procedural that also offered room to develop emotional resonance and "serialized storytelling." He promises that, once it airs, each week will unpeel yet another layer of intriguing secrets.
Nevertheless, he will continue to work on C.S.I. as well, through its next season. "I will always have a soft spot for that show," he insists. "I love the actors and the world that it takes us into."
Fans of crime shows should keep an eye on Berman's career, because not only does he love the genre himself but he's hoping to break even more new ground. Given his success thus far, it's likely that he'll find a way to surprise us.