Congratulations, Naren!

Many years ago, when I was a supervising producer on Seaquest, we had a wildly enthusiastic story editor on staff who was justifiably frustrated by the scientifici silliness of our show. He was Naren Shankar, and I was thrilled to read in Variety of his recent success…

“CSI” scribe Naren Shankar has been upped to exec producer of the top-rated crime drama, inking a new seven-figure, multi-year deal in the process.
Shankar has been with “CSI” the past two seasons, most recently as co-exec producer. Deal with CBS, Alliance Atlantis and Jerry Bruckheimer Television is expected to keep the scribe with the show through May 2007.

“CSI” exec producer-showrunner Carol Mendelsohn — already at work on the fifth season of the Thursday-night blockbuster — said Shankar fits in well with “all of us on the show, who are preoccupied with death and murder. And he brought his own warped sensibility with him to the show.”Shankar also adds something else to “CSI” not usually associated with drama scribes — a Ph.D. from Cornell U. in applied physics. Scribe started out his showbiz career as a WGA intern and, later, a science consultant on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

So you can imagine what it was like for him writing on a show where the characters included a talking dolphin and a guy with gills. Still, he gave it his all… doing his best to make the show as good as it could be… against insurmountable obstacles (like, for instance, the concept of the show). Naren wrote arguably the best episode of the season, “Good Soldiers,” which revealed that goody-goody Capt. Bridger (Roy Scheider) was, in the past, the equivalent of a Nazi concentration camp guard who turned his back on horrific abuses.

It’s great to see nice guys… and friends of mine…doing so well!

3 thoughts on “Congratulations, Naren!”

  1. J. Michael Starzcynski said he had a similar experience with a forgettable syndicated show about a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The show was so phenomenally awful that he and two of his staffers almost left television altogether. JMS reportedly told them that if he could pitch a worthy idea and get it sold, he’d hire them on to wash away the bad taste this show left in their mouths. (I can’t for the life of me remember what the show was, but I remember the ads. They made me thank God I had a stereo and a large book collection.) A few years later, JMS, Harlan Ellison, and JMS’s two buddies were putting together Babylon 5.
    [I’m typing this from memory. Feel free to correct any details.]

  2. Correcting details:
    As far as I know, the only forgettable syndicated show JMS had anything to do with (before the ones he created, that is) was Captain Power, a half-hour commercial for an action figure that Joe at the time insisted was the greatest work of art ever created for any medium.


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