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Question: What is your opinion on the will they/won’t they dynamics on the NCIS franchise? I have enjoyed both the Tony/Ziva relationship on NCIS as well as the Kensi/Deeks relationship on NCIS: LA. But after eight years on NCIS Tony/Ziva has not shared their first “real” kiss, while after only four seasons we got to celebrate one for Kensi/Deeks. Since both shows have the same premise, why do you think the original NCIS is holding back on advancing the Tony/Ziva relationship in the same manner? I know a lot of shows cite Moonlighting as their reasoning, but I feel that shows like Castle proves it can work. — Cheryl
Matt Roush: There’s a difference between a show like Castle, whose entire premise is built on a core relationship and calibrating the sexual-romantic tension from season to season, and an ensemble drama like the NCIS shows, where a different balancing act is required. I’ve often felt the mothership’s show runners have kept Tony and Ziva on a very slow burn so they don’t overwhelm and take over the show with a workplace love story. I’m not a regular NCIS: LA watcher (my rule: one is enough for almost any franchise), but Kensi and Deeks aren’t nearly as central to the action as Tony and Ziva are in their world, so there’s less risk involved in moving their relationship forward. That’s just my theory, but it makes sense to me. And for what it’s worth, no one really believes in the Moonlighting curse. It’s all about the execution.