By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Anthony Zuiker is about to get real.
The “CSI” creator has landed a nine-episode order at ABC for his maiden journey into unscripted television, a murder-themed offering called “Whodunnit?”
The series will feature contestants using crime scene investigation techniques to find out who among them is a killer, with a $250,000 prize at stake. As with other reality series such as “Survivor,” alliances will be formed. The players will receive a new murder to solve every week, with players meeting their demise if they fail to crack the case.
Finally, with the contestant pool narrowed down to three, one player will unmask the killer and receive the prize.
The series will air in the summer.
Zuiker will executive produce the series with 51 Minds’ Cris Abrego (“The Surreal Life”). Zuiker’s Dare to Pass is producing the series with 51 Minds. Dare to Pass’ president Matt Weinberg will also produce.
“I’ve built a career telling crime stories, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, especially from ‘CSI,’ it’s that the audience loves to solve the mystery,” Zuiker said Wednesday. “‘Whodunnit?’ allows everyday fans to be in the show themselves and get the chance every week to do what they love best, which is ultimately solve the case.”
In addition to “Whodunnit?” Zuiker is also working on the ABC pilot “Wonderland,” based on the Lewis Carroll classic “Alice in Wonderland.”
Preview the Upcoming “CSI” Crossover Event:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/CSI%3A-Crime-Scene-Investigation/7799457142046501112/17450563820/CSI%3A—In-Vino-Veritas-%28Sneak-Peek%29/embed 580 476]