How Discovery Channel Has Inspired Everyone from Oprah to the Creator of CSI

A true-crime show sparked the major TV franchise

CSI creator Anthony Zuiker can still remember the moment that watching Discovery changed his life—and his bank account—forever.

In August 1999, Zuiker was watching one of his favorite shows, The New Detectives: Case Studies in Forensic Science, Discovery's forensic docudrama series that aired from 1996 to 2005. That day's episode was about Linda Sobek, a model and former Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader who was killed by a photographer during a photo shoot in 1995.

"When they pulled that long, blond hair follicle out of the headrest of the passenger's side, it suggested that her hair was yanked out in some sort of a struggle," Zuiker recalled.

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