Archive for the ‘Sneak Peek’ Category


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 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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May 13,2014

NCIS Boss: Season Finale Is a “Touching” Tribute to Ralph Waite

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Though NCIS season finales are known for being action-packed cliff-hangers, the final episode of Season 11 may have fans reaching for tissues rather than sitting on the edge of their seats. The episode will pay tribute to actor Ralph Waite, who died unexpectedly in February.

“Everyone involved really wanted to do this,” creator Gary Glasberg tells TVGuide.com. “We wanted to do this properly and say goodbye to a character that we all really enjoyed writing over the years, and goodbye to an actor that meant a lot to us. … This was such a significant event for us, both on-screen and off, that we wanted to handle it properly and do it well, and let people mourn the passing of Gibbs’ dad with him.”

in the finale, titled “Honor Thy Father,” Gibbs (Mark Harmon) returns to his childhood home after learning that his father Jackson (Waite) has passed away. In addition to paying homage to Waite, the plot will reveal a few things about Gibbs as well.

“It’s a really touching, emotional look back and looking forward at Gibbs and the loss of his father,” Glasberg explained. “[Fans will get] more insight into what makes Gibbs who he is, some stuff from his childhood and morally, just who he is.”

The episode will also explore more of Jackson Gibbs’ past through flashbacks, with Rob Norton playing a young version of Jackson.

At the same time, Gibbs’ help is needed with the crime of the week, when the crew investigates a fire on a Navy ship that may have been set intentionally to allow terrorists who were being detained on the ship to escape. “He clearly has his mind elsewhere,” Glasberg notes.

With the show undergoing so many changes this year (as well as Glasberg getting ready to launch the spin-off NCIS: New Orleans, which CBS recently ordered to series), producers wanted a finale that would bring the season full circle. And once producers learned of Waite’s sudden passing, any doubts they had were laid to rest.

“We wanted to do a finale that was a little different this season,” Glasberg explained. “It’s no secret that Season 11 had all kinds of challenges that came up — Ziva’s departure, Bishop’s arrival, and then we did the New Orleans episodes. A lot has happened, and we wanted to not necessarily do another cliff-hanger, but do something that informed our characters and brought our family and our team together. … I really wanted to just sort of solidify the team again. And this was such a significant moment for Gibbs as a character that, emotionally, I wanted to focus on that and then leave for the season knowing that this group stands together.”

The NCIS season finale airs Tuesday at 8/7c on CBS. Catch up on recent episodes here, and check out a clip from the finale below.

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May 02,2014

Ask Ausiello: Tony-Centric Episode?

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Question: Any scoop on NCIS‘ Tony-centric episode? — Mary Kate
Ausiello:
The season’s penultimate hour is no less than Michael Weatherly’s “favorite episode in a long time, one where I got to do some other things,” the actor told Matt Mitovich during a extended Q&A that will post next week. As DiNozzo escorts an admiral’s daughter (played by Boardwalk Empire alum Meg Chambers Steedle) from Marseilles, France, to the States, Weatherly promises, “Charade-style fun — sort of like Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn on the run.”

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Apr 24,2014

Matt’s Inside Line: McGee, Delilah and Dubai?

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Was Delilah’s move to Dubai due to Margo Harshman not wanting to stay on NCIS, or was it part of their storyline? Some fans think it could be a way McGee could leave the show if Sean Murray doesn’t [re-sign]. –Robert
File this one under “Wait and See.” Show boss Gary Glasberg says the McGee/Delilah story won’t be revisited over these last few episodes, “but it wouldn’t surprise me if it comes back up in the earlier part of Season 12.”

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Apr 08,2014

Matt’s Inside Line: Will Delilah be around for Season 12?

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When I first heard about NCIS‘ McGee dating Delilah, I didn’t think it would last as long as it has, but is seems as if she’ll be around a while. My question is: Will Margo Harshman be back next season? –Bobby
That likely depends on how things play out in this week’s episode, as McGee grapples with the issue of cohabitation. “They’ve got a decision to make,” says show boss Gary Glasberg. “And then we’ll have to see where that takes us moving into Season 12.” Of course, Tony will have his two cents to throw in as Tim mulls the matter. “Tony’s got an opinion on everything,” Glasberg reminds, “so he definitely chimes in as a ‘big brother and offers his advice — whether it’s wanted or not.”

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Mar 27,2014

‘NCIS’ Boss Gary Glasberg Briefs Us on a New Orleans Two-Parter (and a Possible Spinoff)

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Time-traveler, starship captain, and now a king?

Scott Bakula guest stars this week and next on “NCIS” as Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride, known as “King” to his underlings. If the episodes do well, we might be seeing him and his team on a regular basis in a new spinoff, “NCIS: New Orleans,” next fall.

We spoke with “NCIS” showrunner Gary Glasberg about writing a backdoor pilot like this, the connection between the two shows, and the real-life guy Bakula’s character is based on.

“NCIS” is headed to New Orleans — how was shooting there?
It was fun; we had a great time. We hooked up with some fantastic crew. There’s such an energy and a tone and a specific vibe to what that city is. Our intent in the four days that we were there was to just capture as much of it as we could. We actually didn’t do any interiors at all. It was all street stuff in the French Quarter and out in the bayou.


Scott Bakula’s character is based on a real-life person, isn’t he?

Yeah, this all started last year when I started doing some research for what was supposed to just be a sweeps episode. I learned there was this little office, this little NCIS office in New Orleans, because there’s such a significant military presence there. This office has existed, but it was really run for 25 years by this one man, Dwayne Swear.

And in meeting him, he’s this larger-than-life, eccentric, fantastic guy who I just couldn’t get enough of. And to think that he was running things on his own down there for a long time with people coming in to help him was different and unique. Suddenly, what started as a sweeps episode turned into more.

But yeah, the whole Bakula character is based on Dwayne Swear, and we spent a lot of time together. He’s a terrific guy and was very helpful as a consultant as well. He actually came out and spent a couple weeks with us here in Valencia when we were filming interior stuff here. And of course [he] was with us on set down there as well.

What goes into making a successful spinoff? Or what have you learned to avoid a failed spinoff?
It’s a challenge. I hope it’s successful; we’ll have to see what happens. But the goal here was really to come up with something that connected with the characters I’m fortunate enough to have here on “NCIS,” to come up with a backstory for the Pride character that connects directly to Gibbs. The idea that they were probationary agents back in the day together when they first joined NCIS, then grew up in the ranks together.

So the relationship between Gibbs and Pride goes back all the way to their origins. A good portion of the first episode is about solidifying that relationship, understanding what that relationship is, and hopefully giving people a sense that these guys have known each other a long time.

I think that’s an important part of the trust and the connection of establishing who the new characters are, and then wanting to spend time with them. The characters and the chemistry of this family at “NCIS” is so important, and hopefully people will feel the same thing about the new characters as well.

Pride seems a little more rough-and-tumble than Gibbs.

A little bit. I think he wears his emotions on his sleeve a little more. Gibbs tends to keep his guard up and plays his cards close to the vest, and Pride is very different from that. He shows his emotions; he speaks his mind very quickly. That’s absolutely what separates them in terms of personality. Both [are] very accomplished federal agents who handle things very differently.

Why New Orleans? It might be the hardest city in the country to set a show, because if the locals don’t like it, they’ll let you know.
I have no doubt about that. But we’ve had a lot of people that were involved with it from day one who are locals. We’re doing everything we can to capture a lot of the spirit and the tone and the sensibility in the series.

It’s part of why we made the effort to get down there and capture the backdrop of the city as best we could, and even incorporate this tremendous music presence in the show. We ended up hiring local street musicians, put them on the street, filmed with ambient sound running in the background. There’s always music present throughout the show. It’s another element of things that we wanted to capture.

We really hope we managed to capture even just a little bit of what the city is. Whether you’re talking about the food — we have scenes that take place at Mother’s, which is an iconic breakfast spot — there’s constant mention of restaurants. And the important elements of what the city is, I hope we were able to include.

When you were talking about the show to the writers, aside from the music, what did you give to guide them? How would this show be different from “NCIS”?
These are two episodes of our series, of “NCIS.” Right now, it’s just the two episodes, and I wrote both of them. So it was really me throwing myself into things, visiting down there, doing some research, gaining weight, enjoying the music and the people — meeting some really fantastic people who have just been super enthusiastic about having us there and hopefully coming back.

Did you see Dwayne and think of Scott Bakula for the role, or have you been wanting to do something with Bakula for a while?
Scott’s a terrific actor. He’s a television personality, and I’ve loved him and been a fan of his for a long time. Then when he read the script and responded to it and wanted to sit down and talk about it, I just got really excited about the idea of finding someone who could bring the character to life.

The fact that it’s based on this real individual made it more inviting for Scott, and Scott got to spend time with Dwayne Swear. And every day, he embodied the character of Pride. It’s been terrific with him, and now, looking at the two episodes, he is this character and it worked out great.

When you have your “NCIS” team and you have this completely new team, is it weird to plop them down face-to-face like that? Is there ever a Sharks vs. Jets vibe, or a mirror universe: “Hey, you’re me, but with a Southern accent”?
Not at all. The intention was always, because of the connection between the Gibbs character and the Pride character, to make it feel like this relationship has existed for years and years and years. I’m fortunate enough and blessed to have actors involved in “NCIS” here who are total team players and anxious to make this work on every level. They embrace the idea of having these new people come in, and we found terrific actors to play the New Orleans roles as well. So it’s been a really great combination, and it just worked out really nicely.

How do you know when you’ve got the right team? What was it about Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, and CCH Pounder that says to you, “These are the guys”?
All you can do is roll the dice and hope that your instincts — and working with a bunch of people from the studio and the network and everyone chiming in — actually work. There’s no denying the fact that the chemistry of the “NCIS” group is a big, big reason why the show continues to be a success. I don’t know if it’s possible to ever capture lightning in a bottle like that, but I can try to put together the strongest group of actors I can, and I think we really accomplished that.

Scott Bakula, like we said: just warm and fantastic and fun and outgoing. Lucas Black, who I call my Alabama Steve McQueen, [is] just grounded and real and focused and can do the action and the drama. Zoe McLellan, who is confident and driven and fun and has a spark and a mischief to her. And then this extraordinary actress in CCH Pounder, who instantly steps in and makes it all real for you. And you totally buy her as the medical examiner down in New Orleans.

It just all worked, and you get a few days into filming and you look at each other on set and think, “Wow! We got something.”

So when you’re looking for cities to plant spinoffs, do you just look for places with really good food and music?
[Laughs.] I look for cities where I want to go and enjoy myself! Nah, “NCIS” is a unique setup where it’s all about knowing that there’s a significant military presence there. The Gulf functions as an important part of the Navy. Not only for ships and Navy air stations all the way from Pensacola across into Texas, but then you’ve got the Marine headquarters. The Reserve headquarters is in New Orleans. So you’ve got a lot going on for them.

To know that this little office has been there for “NCIS” and was run by this individual just made a lot of sense. And then to have the backdrop of New Orleans on top of that was just added fun for me on top of the stories I can tell.

“NCIS” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS; the New Orleans two-parter, “Crescent City,” airs March 25 and April 1.

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