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Naren Shankar is an Indian American writer, producer and director of several television series. He served as co-showrunner on the long-running CBS crime drama CSI and Almost Human, among others. As a writer and producer, Shankar has contributed with works for Farscape, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Night Visions, The Outer Limits, The Chronicle, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, seaQuest 2032, Grimm and Star Trek: Voyager.
Naren received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D degrees in applied physics and electrical engineering from Cornell University. After graduating, he joined the team behind Star Trek: The Next Generation. As a producer, Shankar has worked with UC: Undercover and Farscape. He also contributed to Doom.
Naren joined the writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation as an intern during the latter half of the fourth season. He then wrote several episodes for The Next Generation and for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as one first season episode for Star Trek: Voyager, and worked as science consultant during that show's sixth season and as story editor during the seventh season. Shankar also contributed to the video games Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity and Star Trek Generations.
After his time with the Star Trek franchise, Shankar became an associate producer on SeaQuest 2032 during its final season (1995-1996) and wrote two episodes for the series. He then became a writer and executive story consultant for The Outer Limits (1997-1999), working with Harlan Ellison, among others, sharing with him a 2000 Writers Guild of Canada Award for the episode “The Human Operators,” based on a story by Ellison and A. E. van Vogt.
After stints as a writer and executive producer of the Sci-Fi Channel's Farscape (2000-2001) and NBC's short-lived UC: Undercover (2001-2002), Shankar became a consulting producer and head writer on the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2002-2010). Shankar then joined the production team of the fantasy television series Grimm as writer and executive producer (2011-2012). He was one of the writers of the Two and a Half Men-episode "Fish in a Drawer" in 2008.
In 2013, Shankar was named co-executive producer and showrunner for the futuristic television series Almost Human alongside creator J. H. Wyman, before leaving the series. The show was produced by J.J. Abrams and starred Karl Urban, but was canceled after one season.
He is currently serving as executive producer for The Expanse, an American space opera / mystery science fiction drama television series which premiered on Syfy channel in the United States on December 2015. He has also written two episodes for the first season of the series.
Awards and nominations
He has earned a number of award nominations for his work, including two, 2003 and 2004 Emmy Award for CSI, a 2005 PGA Award and a 2006 Writers Guild of America Award nominations, shared with his fellow producers. He served as executive producer on CSI until 2010, and continues to write for the series, including the Trek-spoofing episode "A Space Oddity" featuring Liz Vassey, Wallace Langham, Kate Vernon, and Ronald D. Moore. Shankar also made his directing debut with the tenth season episode "Working Stiffs" (2009) for which he also wrote the story. This episode features Trek alumni Wallace Langham, Liz Vassey, Tracy Middendorf, and Tom Virtue.
- Tsering, Lisa (June 18, 2014) [originally posted September 3, 2013]. "Naren Shankar Looks to the Future with 'Almost Human'". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (September 9, 2013). "'Almost Human' Co-Showrunner Naren Shankar Exits". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Talent Bios - Naren Shankar". NBC Universal Media Village.
- Tsering, Lisa (2013-09-04). "Naren Shankar Looks to the Future with 'Almost Human'". IndiaWest. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2013-09-09). "'Almost Human' Co-Showrunner Naren Shankar Exits". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved 2013-10-09.