Chuck Stevens: Serial Killer: CSI is So Wrong

I can't believe what I saw on TV tonight. CSI: New York? I wrote those fucks over at CBS in 2002, suggesting the exact same show! Actually, mine was CSI: Hoboken, but it's basically the same thing. I even sent them a few pilot episodes. There were 10 in all, but were basically all variations of this, which CBS promptly ripped-off. Look:

An emotionless white guy characterized by his tendency for pithy remarks, and his partner, an attractive, young Hispanic woman, investigate the death of a single mom and her daughter in what appears to be an electrical fire. The detectives crack the case when they find semen stains on a propane tank in the back yard.

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An ethnically ambiguous young man, working by himself, investigates the suspicious death of a 94-year-old cancer patient. He cracks the case when he finds semen stains.

A middle-aged black woman and a 30-something man with broad shoulders and chiseled features investigate the death of a hooker. They crack the case when they find pizza stains on the hooker's face.

Chuck Stevens: Serial Killer: CSI is So Wrong
Like this, but they're wearing sunglasses, because this couldn't get any more fucking stupid.

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Here was the reply from CBS, dated May 4, 2003- almost a year before CSI: New York ever aired.

Dear [name deleted for obvious reasons],

Thank you for your interest in CSI. Unfortunately, we already have two many CSIs as it is. Furthermore, your scripts were far too demented for national television, even by CSI standards. The vicious murder scenes, in particular, were detailed so graphically that I cannot imagine a viewer watching more than five minutes without developing deep psychological problems. Merely alluding to the forms of torture you described would give Guantanamo Bay detainees nightmares.

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Also, all your male characters appear to be gay, yet unaware of their sexual orientation. Not sure what that's all about.


Mickey Mouse
Director of Creative Development

The guy at CBS didn't actually write "Dear [name deleted for obvious reasons]." That was me. Also, I suspect he gave me a false name.

Chuck Stevens: Serial Killer: CSI is So Wrong
How can you direct creative development, anyway?

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It makes me so mad. Not the fake name, though that is a little weird. I just can't believe the good folks at an enormous media conglomerate like Viacom would do such a thing. It's one thing to produce mind-numbing trash for entertainment and reduce journalism to sensationalist nonsense that obscures the disgraceful level of gender, racial, and economic inequality in America. But to steal from me?

Somebody is going to die.

Needless to say, CBS is out of the running for my sitcom pilot. Here's the general idea -- tell me if you think it's more ABC or NBC. (I thought it would be perfect for FX, but Dr. Steve reminded me that they already have a show about cutting people apart.) It's about a single guy living in the city whose overbearing mother is constantly meddling in his affairs. For example, one night she invites herself over to cook him dinner and finds that girl from the pet store who never called me back's head in his freezer. She threatens to call the police but the hero assures her that he raped her before beheading her. His mother, relieved, exclaims, "And here I thought you were leading a double life because you were gay!" It's non-stop hilarity when she moves in with him, forcing him to conceal both his blossoming homosexuality and insatiable bloodlust. She'll say things like, "Chucky when are you going to meet a nice, clean girl? Has this one even heard of shampoo?" And he'll yell back, "You never like any of the girls I drag home!" It will have a laugh track.

In other news, I took Dr. Steve to the vet this week. He said he felt fine, but he needed his shots.

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