EXCLUSIVE: CSI: NY co-executive producer Zach Reiter has inked a two-year deal with the series producer CBS Studios. Under the overall pact, Reiter’s first, he will serve as No. 2 on CSI: NY under executive producer/showrunner Pam Veasey and will also develop for the studio.
On CSI: NY, which enters its seventh season, Reiter is expected to fill the void left by the departure of co-showrunner Peter Lenkov. Lenkov is departing to go run CBS’ new drama series Hawaii Five-O, which he co-created with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Reiter has been on CSI: NY since the first season in what has become his second career. He was a prosecutor in Queens, New York for four years, three of them in the homicide investigation bureau. “What I loved so much about being a DA was trying cases because there is a fair amount of writing and storytelling involved in that.” Ultimately, he realized that writing was all he wanted to do, gave up his legal career, wrote a Law & Order spec and headed to Hollywood in 2003. Fortunately, the path was paved for him by his older brother, Lukas Reiter, who also worked as a DA in Queens for three years before leaving to pursue a career as a writer. Having a brother in the business helped Zach Reiter get his foot in the door much faster than he anticipated. “I was entirely prepared to struggle and take administrative assistant positions or entry position jobs at an agency,” he said. But when his brother passed his spec to his CAA agent, Zach Reiter got signed right away and quickly landed his first writing job on new Fox drama Skin. The series quickly fizzled but Bruckheimer TV, which produced it, was gearing up for the launch of a second CSI spinoff, CSI: NY, and hired him as a writer. That’s all good, but did Reiter’s parents overcome the disappointment of having both of their sons abandon their prestigious legal careers? “They had good 3-4 years of being able to tell friends and family that their sons are lawyers,” Zach Reiter said. “And now they’re equally as proud of us finding a successful path in Hollywood.”