Jul 18,2014

Matt’s Inside Line

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With Michael Weatherly having gotten in such good shape this summer for his triathlon, will this be addressed for NCIS‘ DiNozzo? –Joni
The actor’s lean, mean physique apparently will help Tony’s game. Show boss Gary Glasberg tells us he’s in the “formative stages” of crafting a new love interest for Tony, someone that NCIS’ most eligible agent (G Callen excepted) will meet through a case. “It’s time for Tony to continue to grow a little bit,” says Glasberg. “He went through a lot last year emotionally and tried to deal with Ziva’s departure as he could. And it’s time” for someone new. “We’ll be mature about it and handle it properly, and Michael’s excited about it.”



Jul 18,2014

A New Villain, A New Romance, A Trip to New Orleans..

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Big things are coming on NCIS Season 12.

During the NCIS: New Orleans panel discussion at the TCA Summer Press Tour yesterday, executive producers Gary Glasberg, Jeffrey Lieber and Mark Harmon held court and spilled information.

To wit: there are already plans crossover the world of “the mothership” with the upcoming Big Easy-based spinoff.

“We’re currently planning an episode that’s coming out where Gibbs will make an appearance. There will be crossover between the two shows,” Glasberg confirmed. “We have a storyline where Michael Weatherly is involved, where Pauley Perrette is involved, David McCallum. That’s the fun of what we have here is having that interaction.”

Later that day at a CBS party in West Hollywood, I asked Glasberg about specifics regarding new episodes of NCIS. Consider yourself SPOILER WARNED and scroll down for interview excerpts…

TV Fanatic: Where are we finding our gang at the start of the season?

Gary Glasberg: It’s really interesting. Last season was so tumultuous. To have Ziva exit, Bishop arrive, the introduction of the New Orleans episodes and then Ralph Waite’s passing, it was a lot. I couldn’t do a cliffhanger. It was just disrespectful. So I think by doing it the way we did, by sort of resetting over the hiatus and then coming out of the gate with a big story, which is what we’re doing, we’re exciting about it.

It’s really about focusing on the team and the family because I know that the fans really respond to that and then, of course, really peppering it with all kinds of great little tidbits along the way.

The first episode starts in Russia and brings Gibbs and McGee to Russia and then a crisis happens and we’re off and running. It sets up an adversary for them that will track through the whole season.

TVF: So we’ll have a big bad for the whole season?

GG: On and off a big bad!  An actor named Alex Veadov. He’s a lovely man and he plays a Russian mercenary named Sergei Michnev. Very excited about that. He’s a terrific actor and excited about the potential of where he can go and the potential to cross over into the New Orleans show, as well.

TVF: That sounds great. What else is coming?

GG: Episode 3 is a Ducky origins story, which we‘re going to find a young David McCallum and I’m very excited about that. Steve Binder is writing that and we’re going to learn things like why the bow tie and all kinds of stuff. It will be a lot of fun.

TVF: Will it be a light, fun episode? Or will there still be a darker case along with it?

GG: There will be a case that goes along through it, but it brings Ducky and Bishop back to England. So we’re very excited about that.

TVF: Any old faces from the past either villains or other people we haven’t seen in awhile?

GG: We’re talking about different people. We’ll have to see who gets cast and who we ultimately bring in. But everything from trying to cast the elusive, unknown ex-wife, the one we haven’t met. We’ll also keep the Delilah story alive with McGee. And Tony, in episode 4, is going to meet a woman. So we’ll start to layer that in.

TVF: With both shows going, are you going to sleep ever again?

GG: I tend to stay up late so I go to bed around 2 and [exec producer Jeffrey Lieber] gets up around 4 so there’s only about 2 hours of time where we need to hire someone from 2-4 [am].

NCIS Season 12 premieres at 8/7c on Tuesday, September 23, with NCIS: New Orleans debuting immediately afterward.

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Jul 17,2014

‘NCIS’ team crossing over to New Orleans this fall

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CBS has enlisted Mark Harmon and the rest of his NCIS team to help ensure that the military crime drama’s New Orleans-based spin-off completes its ratings mission. Harmon will make another appearance on NCIS: New Orleans, which launches this fall, and this time he’s bringing more of his crew. Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Michael Weatherly’s Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo, Pauley Perrette’s Abigail “Abby” Sciuto, and David McCallum’s Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard will all visit The Big Easy in an unspecified episode. The crossover will partner Harmon with fellow veteran prime-time star Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap), who leads the New Orleans team.

“I’m here to help,” Harmon told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday. “I’ve learned a few things in 12 years that I’m happy to pass on – or not.”

There was previously a cross-over between the shows last season during two episodes that served as a backdoor pilot introduction to the new project, where Bakula plays Special Agent Dwayne Pride, the head of the NCIS New Orleans field office.

Bakula acknowledged he had “big shoes to fill” as the star of an NCIS spin-off. “This is kind of potentially a great partnership of a new show … the ball that’s being handed off is a perfect spiral,” he said of the new show, which will receive a lead-in from NCIS on Tuesday nights. “And there’s pressure that comes with that also. No question about it. Everyone’s talking about imagine what it will be like being on the air for 11 years. I said, ‘Hold on. They need to write the show, and then we need to do the show. We have to earn our place. It’s not a given,’ and I’m fortunate to have this great, very rich character that exists, that I can plumb for ideas and experiences.”

NCIS is the longest-running drama series currently on broadcast TV, and is also the most watched — averaging about 19 million viewers. But the veteran drama tends to lack the media attention enjoyed by more buzzy cable dramas. Harmon seemed to suggest that people tend to underestimate how much work goes into keeping the procedural at the top of its game. “We’ve been fortunate on this show that we’re doing,” said Harmon, who is also an executive producer on the series. “It looks really easy to do. It’s really hard to do, and [executive producer Jeffrey Lieber is] finding that out right now … we take great pride in what we try to put forward, and we hope that that same footprint rests onto this [new] show.”

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May 29,2014

NCIS Season 11 DVD news

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August 19th is the release date and here you can see the cover art:

Come back soon for more details about the Special Features that will also include 3 audio commentaries and deleted scenes.



May 28,2014

Matt’s Inside Line: Meeting Mrs. Gibbs No. 2?

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Are there going to be any life-changing events for any of Gibbs’ team members during Season 12 of NCIS? –Marsha
I don’t know if the storyline surrounding this reveal will be “life-changing” per se, but show boss Gary Glasberg tells me he still is on track to put a face to the long-MIA Mrs. Gibbs No. 2 during Season 12 — as well as unveil another never-seen spouse. “I look forward to introducing [Gibbs' second ex-wife], and I look forward to meeting Bishop’s husband,” he shares. And along those lines, “We’re already playing with some ideas that I think are going to be fun for people.”

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May 16,2014

Michael Weatherly Closes 2-Year Deal With CBS Studios To Return To ‘NCIS’, Produce New Projects

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NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly has finalized a new deal with series producer CBS Studios. Under the two-year pact, Weatherly will return to the highly rated CBS drama where he has been since the pilot, playing Anthony DiNozzo. His new agreement also includes an overall development deal for Weatherly’s newly launched production company, Solar Drive Productions. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue playing Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo on NCIS for seasons 12 and 13,” Weatherly said. “Leslie (Moonves), Nina (Tassler) and David (Stapf) have been incredibly supportive of my growth over the last decade and I couldn’t be more excited about working with them on the production side. My new company, Solar Drive Productions, will have fancy letterhead and nice furniture.” Weatherly joins fellow NCIS cast members Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Rocky Carroll who also recently renewed their contracts for two more seasons. The entire cast of the veteran CBS drama series is set to return next fall. Weatherly is repped by Anonymous and McKuin, Frankle, Whitehead.

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May 13,2014

‘NCIS’ EP opens up about season finale tribute to Ralph Waite: ‘We lost someone we truly cared about.’ — GUEST COLUMN

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TV icon Ralph Waite, best known for his portrayal of stalwart father figure John Walton on The Waltons, passed away in February at the age of 85. At the time of his passing, Waite was also a recurring cast member on CBS’s NCIS, where he played father to Mark Harmon’s Jackson Gibbs. Below, NCIS executive producer Gary Glasberg opens up about crafting a proper send-off for the character in an EW Guest Column.

By: Gary Glasberg

It started with a phone call. Mark Harmon received a call that his co-worker and friend, Ralph Waite, had passed away. The news hadn’t broken yet. Mark came upstairs to see me in my office. We sat down and reflected on Ralph’s extraordinary career. From Cool Hand Luke to The Waltons, Ralph Waite defined and earned the title “character actor.” We considered adding a simple In Memoriam card to the end of the next episode that was about to air. It didn’t feel like enough of a gesture. We contemplated re-running “Better Angels,” his last wonderful storyline with us. It felt redundant. Ralph deserved more. He would have wanted us to stretch, to push the story envelope, to leave people feeling the loss of Jackson Gibbs, not just reflecting on it.

There’s no doubt season eleven has been a season of surprises; Ziva’s departure, Bishop’s arrival, the launch of NCIS: New Orleans. The writers and producers of NCIS talked extensively and decided it might be time for a change. We didn’t need to do another cliffhanger. We didn’t need to leave the audience guessing who might survive a bomb blast or a political kidnapping. We had something very real happen to us off-screen. We lost someone we truly cared about. And now it was time to let Leroy Jethro Gibbs say goodbye to his father, too.

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I knew instantly who would help me write this emotional farewell. It had to be Gina Monreal. She and Ralph connected on “Better Angels.” He got a kick out of her and vice versa. Not to mention, he truly respected Gina’s talent on the page. Tony Wharmby was already set to direct the episode so that basically reassembled the team. We started talking about how best to handle Jackson’s death. As always, we knew we had to come up with a parallel crime story (it’s what we do), but the drive of “Honor Thy Father” would undoubtedly be Gibbs mourning the loss of his dad. This needed to be a finale with real emotional resonance. A finale with heart and soul and warmth and pathos. And, of course, a few classic NCIS twists and turns along the way for good measure.

Every character has their moment to say goodbye. Tremendous thought went into the funeral scene. We knew we wanted to see some of Jackson’s old WWII buddies paying their respects. We knew we had to get Billy Dee Williams who plays Jackson’s buddy L.J. to help us, as well. We knew we wanted Jackson to have a military funeral. It needed to be a fitting goodbye for a decorated veteran. From day one, Gina knew the music she wanted over the final montage. It had to be Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me In Your Heart.” I’m a huge Warren Zevon fan. I wasn’t about to argue that. Trust me, you’ll needs the tissue box. It’s not easy to get through the funeral sequence without tearing up a little.

Is there some NCIS suspense? Of course. Do we get some classic Abby, McGee, and Tony? Absolutely. But this season finale is about Gibbs. We get to see a personal side of him few have witnessed. We get to feel his pain and his anguish and his sadness. And we get to see his pride. The pride Gibbs had in his father, regardless of their differences.

Oh — and do stick around to see the very end of the show. You might get a glimpse of what Gibbs will be building in the basement in season twelve.

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