“NCIS: New Orleans,” which stars Scott Bakula as the head of the New Orleans office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CBS.
The second series spinoff – the first is “NCIS: Los Angeles” – stems from a conversation “NCIS” executive producer Gary Glasberg had with star (and fellow executive producer) Mark Harmon in the summer of 2013 about ideas for new episodes.
“Setting a couple of episodes in New Orleans was the idea for some sweeps episodes and Mr. Harmon turned to me and said, ‘Gary, those aren’t sweeps episodes. That’s a series,” Glasberg recalled during CBS’ portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
The characters were introduced during “NCIS” episodes March 25 and April 1. The cast also includes Lucas Black and Zoe McLellan as NCIS special agents, CCH Pounder as the Jefferson Parish coroner and Rob Kerkovich as a forensic scientist who works for her.
With the characters and premise already introduced, the Tuesday series premiere “is just an episode of the show,” said executive producer Jeffrey Lieber, who wrote the episode.
“You don’t have to spend that episode proving things or doing anything else,” Lieber said. “We get to drop into this first episode and really start living with this group of people as we will throughout the whole series.”
The premiere, about the discovery of the body of a petty officer Bakula’s character once mentored, includes a crossover from “NCIS,” with David McCallum reprising his role as medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard.
Each of at least the next two episodes will also include appearances by “NCIS” cast members. Pauley Perrette, Michael Weatherly and Rocky Carroll will guest star in the episode scheduled for Sept. 30, which deals with the death of a Navy lieutenant from the bubonic plague.
Harmon and Carroll will guest star in the episode set for Oct. 7.
The producers’ goals include “spending a tremendous amount of time outside in the city … to dig into those neighborhoods, to really get into the flavor and the culture of what New Orleans is,” Glasberg said.
However, with the jurisdiction of the NCIS New Orleans office stretching from Pensacola, Florida to Texas, stories will also be set in other locations, Glasberg said.
“We’re really infusing the stories with local color and flavor and culture as much as we can,” Glasberg said.
– City News Service