Rule No. 8: “Never take anything for granted.”
CBS’ NCIS takes that to heart tonight at 8/7c, with a Christmas episode that reflects on one of the long-running drama’s recurring themes: Gibbs’ Rules.
“I wanted for a while to do an episode about Gibbs’ rules,” showrunner Gary Glasberg tells TVLine, “and Chris Waild, one of my writer-producers, had the clever idea of incorporating it into our Christmas show.”
The framing device, per Glasberg: “McGee (played by Sean Murray) is writing a letter to his father, sitting at the great, old typewriter that he writes his books on, sort of narrating” his account of a case the team worked during the holidays, involving hackers.
“It’s a really timely case,” given the myriad Sony Hack documents continuously being released into the real world, Glasberg notes. “And it brings back a number of characters” — Former NCIS Systems Administrator Kevin Hussein (played by Ethan Rains), Heidi Partridge (Erin Allin O’Reilly) and Ajay Khan (Chuck‘s Vik Sahay) — “who are computer-focused villains of the past,” to help tackle the crisis.
As McGee shares with his father the assorted rules, many are punctuated by accompanying flashbacks of characters both present and past receiving or recounting Gibbs’ wisdom. “We used stuff all the way back to Season 2, I think,” Glasberg says. “It’s amazing to go back and collect all these different clips, of everybody from Sasha [Alexander, as Special Agent Kate Todd] to Cote [de Pablo, as Ziva] to Michael [Weatherly, who plays DiNozzo] referring to the rules.
Such blasts from the past coupled with McGee’s heartfelt missive to his father made for “a really emotional, terrific episode,” Glasberg adds. “It’s like a little Christmas present for everybody.”
EXCLUSIVE: With NCIS continuing to reign as the most watched scripted show on television and getting ready to spawn a spinoff series, the man behind both, Gary Glasberg, has been signed in a new overall deal by NCIS producer CBS TV Studios. Under the two-year extension that runs through May 2016, Glasberg will continue as executive producer and showrunner of flagship NCIS and of its proposed planted spinoff, which will be introduced in a two-part NCIS episode slated to shoot in February and air in the spring. He is writing the New Orleans-set offshoot and is executive producing with NCIS star/executive producer Mark Harmon. Glasberg called the experience working with CBS’ Leslie Moonves and Nina Tassler and CBS Studios’ David Stapf “amazing”, adding “I look forward to continuing to work with my NCIS family and can’t wait to dive in to what lies ahead,” Glasberg, repped by CAA and Michael Gendler, joined NCIS in 2009 and took the reins as showrunner two years later. NCIS closed out the 2012/13 season, its 10th on the air, as the most watched program on TV for the first time, with an average of 21.60 million viewers, edging Sunday Night Football (21.00 million). So far this season, the veteran drama is the most watched scripted program on TV in Live+same day and also ranks among the top 10 U.S. series in a number of international markets, including Canada, France, Italy as well as Australia, where it is in the Top 3.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS is looking to further expand its lucrative NCIS franchise. I’ve learned that the network is working on a planted NCIS spinoff series, which will be introduced in a two-part NCIS episode slated to shoot in February and air in the spring. Set in New Orleans, the potential spinoff is executive produced by NCIS star/executive producer Mark Harmon and executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg. The character-driven project, written by Glasberg and produced by CBS Studios, centers on the the NCIS New Orleans office which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans was picked as a backdrop for the show because of its pedigree of a rich setting of music, fun and debauchery that makes it a magnet for military personnel on-leave. And with fun comes trouble. This would mark the second spinoff from veteran NCIS, which also spawned hit NCIS: Los Angeles. The LL Cool J-Chris O’Donnell starrer also started off as a backdoor pilot, airing as a two-part episode of NCIS. In expanding the NCIS franchise, CBS and CBS Studios are taking a page from their CSI playbook by setting every new series in a new town (Las Vegas, Miami and New York for CSI; Washington, Los Angeles and New Orleans for NCIS). With NCIS and NCIS: LA showing no signs of slowing down, CBS may very well have three NCIS series on the air next season, just like it did with the CSI franchise for almost a decade. Season 11 of NCIS kicks off tomorrow night. Glasberg is repped by CAA, Harmon by Paradigm.
CBS has a new kind of Fan Award up this time around it’s called Fanticipate Fall. The categories this time are Can’t wait for more awkward moments with Parents, Can’t wait for this dynamic duo’s next adventure, Can’t wait for the next exciting reveal, Can’t wait for more sizzling chemistry, and Can’t wait for more laugh out loud moments. Tony DiNozzo and McGee are up for the Can’t wait for this dynamic duo’s next adventure. Click the link below and vote for them.
On NCIS, do you think “Tiva” will be together in the end? Or do you think it’ll be a kiss and then she leaves? I don’t think I could handle a depressed Tony if they weren’t together. –Samantha
Michael Weatherly hears your concern, and shares his own hope that Cote de Pablo’s double-episode send-off “is as cathartic and therapeutic for the fans as it was for me shooting it.” As for the oft-promised “appropriate closure,” this is all DiNozzo’s portrayer would tease: “When you want something for so long, and you want and you want and you want, and it almost gets warped because you’ve wanted it for maybe longer than anybody should ever want anything, and it’s sitting five feet from you in an office…. When that is dealt with, a dam breaks and it creates a fresh new and most importantly dynamic element to the show. That eight-year ‘holding pattern’ will be dealt with, but more important than that is what happens next. Where does Tony go after that? And [the answer to that] is the most exciting thing I’ve heard in a long time.”
I am looking for a job and I am a huge fan of NCIS. Can I take Ziva’s job? It looks like fun and I sure need that in my life! –Cheryl
Sure, just get behind the 50-year-old lady who’s at the head of the line of candidates.
I would like these ladies to take Ziva’s place: Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich. –Clinton
What, no love for Cheryl above…?
SEASON FINALE: In response to the Department of Defense’s investigation of Gibbs, agents DiNozzo, McGee and Ziva David turned in their badges and took full responsibility for the team’s questionable actions. Also, the team uncovered that the murders of Ziva’s father and NCIS Director Vance’s wife were part of a CIA distraction from an unknown domestic threat. The final scene found Gibbs four months in the future, armed with a sniper rifle aimed at FBI Agent Tobias Fornell and the mysterious figure he was guarding.
NEW SEASON: Former Mossad agent turned NCIS Special Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) leaves the team in an emotional episode. Several unexpected twists will occur related to the personal lives of Palmer, McGee and Vance, and the team will face one of the most dangerous adversary’s they’ve ever encountered. Also, this season the series will mark its 250th episode. @NCIS_CBS
Fans who were crushed by the shocking announcement that NCIS’ favorite Cote de Pablo would not be returning to the drama series for season 11 might feel a tad bit better to know that CBS tried its hardest to get her to stay.
Today during the CBS executive session at the summer press tour, CEO Leslie Moonves wanted the letter-writing, rage-tweeting fans to know it was the star’s choice to leave. They even offered a significant pay raise, and she still turned it down.
“I really want to clarify: We offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money. And then we offered her even more money,” Moonves shared. “We really didn’t want to lose her, we love her she was terrific and we obviously were in discussions with the cast and the producers were aware with what was going on and ultimately she decided that she didn’t want to do the show. It was purely her decision.”
Still heartbroken, Ziva fans? Moonves may not feel your pain, but he hears it. And reads it.
“We’re obviously getting a lot of emails and a lot of twitter buzz about her and rightly so, she’s a wonderful lady,” the CEO said. “Look, NCIS is the highest rated show in television last year, we don’t like losing anybody but we did everything humanly possibly, we feel like we exhausted every opportunity and she just decided she didn’t want to do the show.”
De Pablo announced her departure in the beginning of July, saying in a statement: “I’ve had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David. I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David, Rocky, Pauley, Brian, Sean, all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva’s story.”