Archive for the ‘Sneak Peek’ Category


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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Mar 24,2014

NCIS Boss Previews the New Orleans Spin-Off Episodes, Tony’s Big Trip and a New Finale Plan

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This Tuesday at 8/7c, CBS’ NCIS kicks off a two-part trip to New Orleans, where it will introduce viewers to another team — one headed up by TV vet Scott Bakula — and hopefully pave the way for a new spin-off to premiere this fall. NCIS boss Gary Glasberg, who developed the prospective off-shoot with Mark Harmon, shared with TVLine a preview of the Big Easy adventure, as well as updated us on the status of the mothership’s Season 11 finale, which needed to shift gears in the wake of a real-life tragedy.

TVLINE | First, tell me the genesis of this spin-off idea. Am I right that it just started off as, “Hey, maybe we’ll set an episode in New Orleans…”?
I always sit down during hiatus and talk to Mr. Harmon about the ideas that I have for the coming season, and this started off as what was originally just going to be a sweeps two-parter. He looked at me and said, “We should do this as a spinoff,” and next thing I knew we were going in with a very colorful pitch that involved music and imagery and all kinds of stuff, and people got excited, and here we are.

TVLINE | When you talk about the music and imagery — and in the promos we see Bakula doing some form of an accent — is there a fine line to toe, between giving the episodes a distinct flavor and possibly brushing up against what some people might feel is parody?
I hope it doesn’t feel like parody. At the end of the day, the city of New Orleans is a huge part of what drew us to the idea and why we wanted to do it in the first place. We want to treat New Orleans like a character, and that was why we wanted to shoot on actual locations, and in the French Quarter, and really make an effort to depict it as best we could.

TVLINE | So if it goes to series, where are you going to film it?
You know, I’m not sure yet. It really comes down to the network and the studio and business, and there are lots and lots of influences. But I feel like no matter what, you have to spend a certain amount of time [filming] down there in order to make it work, in order to continue to inject the color and the flavor that we’re trying to capture in the story.

TVLINE | Now, who on Gibbs’ team Crescent Cityalready knows Bakula’s Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride?
It’s suggested that there’s a really strong tie that goes all the way back to Mike Franks. Gibbs and Pride were probies under Franks and a group of other agents — they were referred to as the Fed 5 — and this Agent McLane, who had become a Congressman since, ends up getting killed, and that’s the genesis of the story.

TVLINE | Who all goes on the field trip, who doesn’t and why?
A tremendous portion of this story happens in Washington, so I needed really significant anchors in both places. So Tony and McGee and Fornell and Vance hold down the fort in Washington, while Gibbs pulls Bishop along [to New Orleans].

TVLINE | What’s the bullet on the members of Pride’s team — Agents Christopher Lasalle and “Merri” Brody, and Dr. Loretta Wade?
Lasalle, played by Lucas Black, in my mind is kind of “Alabama’s Steve McQueen.” He handles himself with a fantastic degree of calm and ease, he’s terrific with the action Crescent Cityand he’s a lot of fun. Brody, played by Zoe McLellan (JAG), is confident and cool and direct and strong. CCH Pounder (The Shield) is just a natural [as Wade]. She comes onscreen and you listen to every word she says. And then to have Scott Bakula as Pride, with his appeal and warmth and fun…. I couldn’t honestly have asked for much more in terms of a group.

TVLINE | How would you say Pride differs from Gibbs?
Oh, they’re incredibly different. Pride doesn’t hide his feelings in any way. There’s no wall going on there in terms of what he’s thinking, what he wants to do. It’s all very much on the surface, and there’s an accessibility and a fun to him that Gibbs doesn’t show. So although, in theory, the characters kind of grew up at the same time, they’re very, very different people. Also, Pride is married and trying to work out some issues with his wife (Person of Interest‘s Paige Turco), which is very real in the world of NCIS.

TVLINE | Now looking ahead to May, how is the season finale shaping up? Last time we spoke, you thought it might be Tony-centric-ish. But then Ralph Waite passed….
You know what, the penultimate episode is a fantastic story for Tony that actually sends him to France, and we’re really excited about that. It’s sort of a Three Days of the Condor story that is action-packed and fun with lots of twists and turns. And that leads us into the finale, which I’m co-writing with Gina Monreal, and although it has a significant crime story happening, that honestly turns out to be our homage to Ralph Waite, to Jackson Gibbs. Mark has been talking about it and invested in it since the day we got the news, and it’s important to us to give Ralph Waite the farewell he deserves.

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Mar 24,2014

NCIS Exclusive: Kelli Williams Cast in Important Episode About Sexual Assault in the Navy

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CBS’ NCIS has enlisted TV vet Kelli Williams to guest-star in an upcoming episode that will explore the issue of sexual assault in the Navy.

“It’s a really important episode for us,” showrunner Gary Glasberg tells TVLine of the installment, which has already been filmed and is now being edited. “I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out.”

Williams — whose previous TV credits include Army Wives, Lie to Me, Men in Trees and The Practice — plays an NCIS agent in the episode, which will be the second one to follow the imminent two-week NCIS: New Orleans planted spin-off (premiering this Tuesday at 8/7c).

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Jan 31,2014

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop of Jimmy Palmer? Back to Tony’s Apartment?

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What is going on with NCIS‘ Jimmy Palmer? It seems that the show has toned down his involvement this season. –Sherry
Show boss Gary Glasberg reminds, “We’ve had this [storyline] runner that we started, about his personal life and his wanting to adopt. That’ll continue through the season,” ultimately leading to “an emotional bit of closure.”

I’m curious, will we see Tony’s apartment again soon on NCIS? –Cheryl

As a matter of fact, yes – in Episode 17, Glasberg says.

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Jan 23,2014

Matt’s Inside Line: Is Tony to qualified for his job?

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With the new team dynamic on NCIS, Tony really looks overqualified for his job. He’s been there forever. As part of his promised “growth” are we going to see him get a promotion? –Sandra
OK, so I brought to showrunner Gary Glasberg everyone’s concern about Tony’s “growth,” especially as Ziva’s exit grows farther and farther away. He avowed, “It’s really important to all of us — it’s important to me, it’s important to Michael Weatherly — that the character of Tony DiNozzo continues to grow.” But outgrowing Gibbs’ team likely will never be a part of that. “That’s something that we at one point or another talk about…. But at the end of the day, as I have learned from real agents that I’ve spoken to, once you find a team that you feel comfortable with, that’s just where you stay,” Glasberg explained. “You become a part of the family, and that’s just what it is.”

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Jan 21,2014

Ask Ausiello: Up next for Tony?

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Question: Any scoop on what’s next for Tony on NCIS? –Laura
Ausiello:
If you’re among those concerned that DiNozzo will rush into a grand new romance, with Bishop’s pop culture-savvy NSA pal Sofia Martinez, you needn’t be. “I don’t think his next relationship is going to happen anytime soon,” show boss Gary Glasberg tells us. “Part of letting Tony be Tony and letting him be flirtatious and talk to women is that these women don’t really matter. They’re quick encounters that he’s having; it’s not Ziva. They’re not ones that count. Eventually, will there be another [great love]? Maybe.”

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