The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
That’s what I told NCIS Executive Producer Gary Glasberg about the start of NCIS Season 12 since we’ve been hearing of some actors coming on board playing Russian characters, such as Lev Gorn as a Russian Deputy Ambassador and Alex Veadov as villain Sergei Michnev.
But with McGee and Gibbs in danger in the opener, what will that adventure mean for the season ahead? And now that we’re a little further away from last year’s emotional departure of Ziva, is Tony back out in the dating world again? And what else did we find out about the Ducky flashback episode with guest star Adam Campbell?
All that and more was discussed with Glasberg when we talked earlier this week…
TV Fanatic: What’s been the biggest surprise so far in the process with NCIS and NCIS: NOLA since you started production on both?
Gary Glasberg: I have to say it’s really been remarkably smooth, not to jinx it. I wouldn’t say there are surprises, it’s just that getting any show off the ground. There are realizations, there are ideas that come up, you learn things about actors and characters and people’s strengths and then on top of it you’ve got a very hands-on network that’s giving you notes and really wants this to work and succeed and you’re trying to keep all the balls in the air. So it’s not so much about being surprised as it is just the amount of work and participation and creative input. It’s keeping it all going and at the end of the day meeting that September 23rd launch date.
TVF: So the new NCIS season is, basically, the Russians are coming!
GG: Well, there’s certainly a lot politically going on in that part of the world right now and it was a storyline that I was kind of drawn to for the opener and I think we came up with something that certainly is super action packed and flips McGee and Gibbs in an interesting, different scenario and we’ll have to see where it leads throughout the season.
TVF: I’m curious why it’s McGee and Gibbs on this adventure. I love that it’s McGee but I guess if I were to guess I would’ve said Tony.
GG: We all know that the Gibbs-Tony combo is an extremely strong one and we always want to do a story that often sets them off on their own. At the same time it’s really nice to have Tony to anchor things back at headquarters when something significant is going on for Gibbs and Sean [Murray] has just been so fantastic.
Last season he was amazing, this season he’s been extraordinary. You know, it’s just fun to watch Sean and Mark [Harmon] work together and this was a really challenging episode that set them out there in the woods and, even with McGee’s Boy Scout training, which has been established, gave them something fun to play. So we had a good time. It was a tough episode to film but everybody had a good time making it.
TVF: Now that Ziva is in the past a little bit more, might Tony find love or be dating this season? I know it’s a very touchy subject with the diehards fans but I feel like I have to ask.
GG: Yeah, we really touch on it in the first few episodes of the season. Tony is a smart guy and went through a really difficult year and we wrote it as a difficult year last year and did a lot of soul-searching and now it’s time for him to get back to being Tony DiNozzo and I don’t think that even Ziva David would have argued that as a friend.
Tony is going to go out and have fun and play the field and be Tony. And his friends are going to acknowledge that and comment on it and we’re writing some fun stuff. It’s not so much about locking Tony down with another woman. It’s about Tony being Tony and that’s the part that people need to embrace.
TVF: I’m guessing once Stephanie Jacobsen shows up as Leia that people might start thinking that that could be a potential relationship.
GG: Yeah, she is one of several. So it’s us having fun with the idea that we’re going to see a little bit of the old Tony DiNozzo again and hopefully everybody will have a good time with that. I think they will, and we’re having fun with it from a casting standpoint, and Michael is too…I’m very pleased with where his character is and is going six, seven episodes into season 12.
TVF: What was your biggest surprise in doing the Ducky flashback episode? Especially once you got Adam Campbell involved, who just looks so much like David McCallum it’s scary?
GG: Yeah. I have to tell you, Adam was unbelievable. I just finished spotting that episode and the flashbacks, the cutting back and forth between David McCallum and Adam, the lightness, the fun, the energy, the cutting between time differences, it all worked out great, and Leslie Libman directed and did a really terrific job and I’m really excited about the episode. I think people are going to get a huge kick out of it and it explains some things about Ducky and about his background and about his reference to his mom and to the corgis and the bowties. It’s just chock full of goodness.
TVF: Talk to me about Bishop a little bit because now that audiences have gotten used to her, what’s in store for her this season? I know she’s a big part of the Ducky episode.
GG: Starting the season off is really about Bishop grounding herself more as an agent, finding a setting as a probationary agent with the agency, proving herself more and then she goes on this fantastic trip to London with Ducky and they connect. She’s very involved with the solving of that case and then along Thanksgiving will come and for our Thanksgiving episode you’re going to meet Jake, her husband, and we’ve got all kinds of plans for Jake.
We haven’t cast him yet. We’re just in the writing stages right now, but that’ll be a fun, interesting addition to who she is and what drives her, and the dynamic between the two of them, and I’m sure we can talk later about that.
NCIS Season 12 Episode 1 on September 23 at 8/7c on CBS.
Source: TV Fanatic
It may not be safe to entrust Eric Christian Olsen with spoilers. “I’m off to go get killed,” he says, picking himself up from a shaded picnic table and heading back out into a Southern California winter heat wave. In the parched hills above Santa Clarita, sets for an Afghan army base and village have been constructed, making NCIS: Los Angeles suddenly seem like NCIS: Afghanistan. “This,” he repeats, “is the scene where Deeks dies.”
He’s joshing, of course, since the only fatality for Olsen’s character this season is more along the lines of “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight,” if you can stand an ’80s-music reference. His Deeks and Daniela Ruah‘s Kensi have long provided the implicit romance that complements the bromance of LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell on the smash series. In November, the two finally hooked up, however briefly, shocking fans who expected an endless variation on the unconsummated flirtation common to coworkers on TV procedurals. But no sooner had the pairing known to shippers as Densi become an actual thing than Kensi was sent to Afghanistan, where, in the upcoming episode I’m observing, her partner and putative beau has come looking for her.
Would it kill Deeks and Kensi to spend a second night together? Well, yeah, actually, it might.
Ruah really does look like death warmed over when I meet with her at this location’s makeshift commissary. Her lip is cut, the right side of her face is black-and-blue, and a wound over her left eye has been crudely stitched (all thanks to an expert makeup crew). But she springs to life, as does Olsen, when the subject of romance comes up.
Olsen: That’s more honest storytelling, because that’s what life is. You don’t have 10-year relationships of flirting without taking that to the next level.
TV Guide Magazine: Unless it’s on your parent show, NCIS, where Tony and Ziva did pretty much just that.
Ruah: If you compare us to the other show, our characters have similar traits. If you go by the very superficial traits of these characters, you’ve got the brunette, kick-ass girl who’s too tough for her own good, and then you’ve got the sarcastic funnyman —
Olsen: Charming, attractive —
Ruah: Right. Sure. [Laughs] And I think that since people already compare us by those traits, if you didn’t differentiate where the relationship goes, it would just be a repetition of what’s been done before. So the fact that we’ve shown something more than just the banter and flirtation between these two characters was actually quite crucial to our show. You want to make it your own and pull away from what’s been done, especially on a show that has the same name as ours.
TV Guide Magazine: But doesn’t the other shoe have to drop? It seems unlikely that the producers would let you guys move in together and have domestic bliss.
Olsen: That’s why they kill off Deeks.
Ruah: No, no. I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen. Prepare for Eric to roll his eyes. Think Friends: Ross and Rachel, on and off for 10 years, have a baby together, the show ends, and they are in bliss — but it’s at the end of the show. I’m just sayin’.
Olsen: I don’t even know how to do an eye roll.
TV Guide Magazine: Give yourself credit. That was an excellent eye roll you just did, Eric.
Olsen: But seriously, this is where the obstacles are so important. Just because something has happened doesn’t mean that two characters can be together, especially when there are consequences for their actions. Especially when they’re partners at work and they’re putting themselves in danger. Because when you’re driven by passion, you’re not doing your job right. And that’s where the storytelling gets really interesting. The journey after that moment is much more interesting than the journey before that moment.
NCIS: LA airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS and Sundays and Mondays on USA Network.
For more on NCIS: LA, pick up this week’s issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, March 6!
Source: TV Guide
Laying claim to the NCIS desk that someone else previously occupied for nearly 200 episodes — and on TV’s most watched drama, no less — was a “very big thing” for actress Emily Wickersham. But based on the results of a TVLine reader poll and viewer reaction to date, the transition has gone as well as anyone could reasonably expect.
Though Wickersham never crosses paths with predecessor Cote de Pablo (“I would love to meet her someday,” she shares), she absolutely appreciates the significance of filling the void created in the wake of Agent Ziva David’s departure. As NCIS resumes Season 11 this Tuesday at 8/7c, TVLine spoke with Ellie Bishop’s portrayer about joining the CBS drama and soon exposing her character’s less-than-perfect traits.
TVLINE | After your first episode, we put a poll up on the site asking readers for their first impression of Bishop. Seventy-nine percent either “love” or “like” her. Is that number pleasantly surprising for you?
Oh wow. Yeah. That’s really nice to hear. I know it’s a weird change for a lot of these viewers, so that’s really nice. I like hearing that a lot.
TVLINE | You’re surrounded at NCIS by people who have been on the show for nine, 10 years. Was there any advice as you kind of entered this lion’s den, this tricky transition?
I think everyone knew it was going to be a bit of a bumpy start, but the writing is so great here and the way they wrote Bishop was so wonderful. She’s not an intimidating character. She’s really excited to be here. She’s determined. She’s charming in her own weird ways. I think she’s non-threatening, which I hope comes across. You know?
TVLINE | Gary Glasberg told me that you “brought some fun stuff to the table” in creating the character. Such as…? Maybe the sitting on desks?
Oh, well that’s nice to hear. As I said, she was written so well, but from the beginning I set about finding those little quirks and looking for little things to bring out in her. So yeah, for example, sitting on the desk was something I did in the [audition] that was brought into each episode. Then they brought in the funny food associations, where she’ll remember what she was eating when she was studying certain facts, which I thought was quirky and cool.
TVLINE | What’s the sum total of her backstory that you know thus far?
Well, Ellie is from a big family in Oklahoma, a midwestern girl…. We know that she is married, though we don’t really know much about Bishop’s husband yet.
TVLINE | Isn’t he a lawyer? Haven’t we heard or read that much?
I’m not sure what’s been revealed, to be honest, but it’s a storyline that I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about that. I think it’ll be fun to see where Bishop comes from. She has three older brothers, which I think makes the transition to hanging out with the NCIS crew easier. She’s used to being surrounded by the guys….
TVLINE | …taking guff and teasing, that kind of stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s been a part of her whole life thus far, so that comes easily to her.
TVLINE | Bishop has come off as a bit “perfect” so far, so I asked Gary if we’re going to be picking up on any faults of hers. He said that there’s something really significant coming up after the holidays.
Oh, yeah. I know what he was referring to, but it’s something I don’t think I can talk about yet. For me, I think the faults in people are the most interesting and fun things to play. Like anyone, she’s got her weaknesses for sure. Even though she’s usually very on top of it, there are definitely fun weaknesses and faults that’ll pop out.
TVLINE | As an NSA analyst, her field experience has been an issue. Has she ever fired a gun?
She’s gone through, with NSA, weapons and field training. That was actually something that I had to do before I started here. Our tech advisor, Leon Carroll, took me to the gun range. I had never held a gun in my life, so I was terrified.
TVLINE | Loud, right? My first time at a gun range, I was not quite prepared for that.
Oh my gosh, they’re so loud. I mean, you wear [ear protection], but I was so scared that the gun was like, going to turn around and shoot me. I mean, they are so powerful. But that kind of comes with the NCIS territory, so it’s definitely something to know about.
TVLINE | Well, she’s already helped apprehend a guy by hitting him with a car, so a gun’s almost a step down.
Exactly. I mean, she could just use the car as a weapon!
TVLINE | Lastly, what might NCIS viewers be surprised to know about the newest cast member of TV’s most watched drama?
Well, unlike my character, I’m very nervous. I mean, I guess Emily was nervous about joining the team, but I was really nervous about joining NCIS just because it’s been around for a while. Coming into that was really intimidating and scary. I’m a nervous person, so that was a very, very big thing!
Source: TV Line
NCIS Emily Wickersham tells Craig about her dogs and her memory of when she was a baby on a kitchen counter.
NCIS is getting into the Halloween spirit, and ET was able to visit the set to talk to the cast about the prank-filled upcoming episode.
In the Halloween special, a mysterious prankster is causing mischief and mayhem all across the offices of NCIS, including wrapping McGee’s desk in plastic cling wrap and disorganizing the very fastidious Abby’s lab.
PICS: 10 Most Promising New Fall TV Shows
Meanwhile, the actual case that NCIS is trying to solve involves a suspicious explosion on the deck of an oil rig, meaning Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent Abigail Borin, played by the wonderful Diane Neal, is returning to assist the team.
Behind the scenes, the whole cast was in the Halloween spirit, and they talked to ET’s Brooke Anderson about the upcoming episode, and what it’s like working on such a popular show.
One tidbit revealed by show lead Mark Harmon is that perhaps there could be a new job opportunity for Special Agent Borin on the NCIS team in the future.
RELATED: NCIS – Inside Ziva’s Farewell
“I don’t know,” Neal said, teasing the possibility. “I think it would be a bit of a demotion for Abigail Borin. However, I don’t think it stops [the NCIS team] from trying. We shall see.”
Check out the video for more from the NCIS cast. Michael Weatherly, who plays Anthony DiNozzo, reveals who he is going to be for Halloween this year, Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby Sciuto, describes her worst costume ever, and Diane Neal gives a little behind-the-scenes info on the pranks she really plays on Weatherly off-screen.
NCIS’s Halloween episode Oil & Water airs Tuesday, October 29 at 8/7c on CBS.