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NCIS Season 12: A New Villain, A New Romance, A Trip to New Orleans

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Big things are coming on NCIS Season 12.

During the NCIS: New Orleans panel discussion at the TCA Summer Press Tour yesterday, executive producers Gary Glasberg, Jeffrey Lieber and Mark Harmon held court and spilled information.

To wit: there are already plans crossover the world of "the mothership" with the upcoming Big Easy-based spinoff.

“We’re currently planning an episode that’s coming out where Gibbs will make an appearance. There will be crossover between the two shows,” Glasberg confirmed. “We have a storyline where Michael Weatherly is involved, where Pauley Perrette is involved, David McCallum. That’s the fun of what we have here is having that interaction.”

Later that day at a CBS party in West Hollywood, I asked Glasberg about specifics regarding new episodes of NCIS. Consider yourself SPOILER WARNED and scroll down for interview excerpts...

Mark Harmon at TCAs

TV Fanatic: Where are we finding our gang at the start of the season?

Gary Glasberg: It’s really interesting. Last season was so tumultuous. To have Ziva exit, Bishop arrive, the introduction of the New Orleans episodes and then Ralph Waite’s passing, it was a lot. I couldn’t do a cliffhanger. It was just disrespectful. So I think by doing it the way we did, by sort of resetting over the hiatus and then coming out of the gate with a big story, which is what we’re doing, we’re exciting about it.

It’s really about focusing on the team and the family because I know that the fans really respond to that and then, of course, really peppering it with all kinds of great little tidbits along the way.

The first episode starts in Russia and brings Gibbs and McGee to Russia and then a crisis happens and we’re off and running. It sets up an adversary for them that will track through the whole season.

TVF: So we’ll have a big bad for the whole season?

GG: On and off a big bad!  An actor named Alex Veadov. He’s a lovely man and he plays a Russian mercenary named Sergei Michnev. Very excited about that. He’s a terrific actor and excited about the potential of where he can go and the potential to cross over into the New Orleans show, as well.

TVF: That sounds great. What else is coming?

GG: Episode 3 is a Ducky origins story, which we‘re going to find a young David McCallum and I’m very excited about that. Steve Binder is writing that and we’re going to learn things like why the bow tie and all kinds of stuff. It will be a lot of fun.

TVF: Will it be a light, fun episode? Or will there still be a darker case along with it?

GG: There will be a case that goes along through it, but it brings Ducky and Bishop back to England. So we’re very excited about that.

TVF: Any old faces from the past either villains or other people we haven’t seen in awhile?

GG: We’re talking about different people. We’ll have to see who gets cast and who we ultimately bring in. But everything from trying to cast the elusive, unknown ex-wife, the one we haven’t met. We’ll also keep the Delilah story alive with McGee. And Tony, in episode 4, is going to meet a woman. So we’ll start to layer that in.

TVF: With both shows going, are you going to sleep ever again?

GG: I tend to stay up late so I go to bed around 2 and [exec producer Jeffrey Lieber] gets up around 4 so there’s only about 2 hours of time where we need to hire someone from 2-4 [am].

NCIS Season 12 premieres at 8/7c on Tuesday, September 23, with NCIS: New Orleans debuting immediately afterward.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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BRING ZIVA BACK

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@ Lynn Shelton

Translation 'Kill a baby if it means cote would return for a choice she made.

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I have left and got another favorite show and I think Cote de Pablo left at the right time. For me I liked series 2 3 4 of NCIS and adored series 5 6 7 8 and 9. I liked 10. Watched some of 11 but gave up until Honor thy Father. My new favorite show is so different. I doubt that it will last the the 15 plus years that NCIS will because the lead actor tends not stick around that long but I hope it makes seven.

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I really love Tony DiNozzo's character, and to be fair he's had the worst luck with women. First Jeanne, then Ziva... he deserves a bit of good luck after all, so I really don't understand how anyone who claims to like Tony can seriously begrudge him the chance to find true love. Ziva left the show willingly (or at least Coté did) and apparently will not come back any time soon, so- even though I would have liked to see the two of them together- why should Tony have to stay single forever? I for one am really glad they're giving him that chance. Go, NCIS writers!

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Forget watching the show, just watch this thread. It’s a gold mine far more entertaining than the show itself! Seems a lot of real people take fake characters
(created out of thin air and produced for mass consumption in 1 hour increments
24 times per year to sell advertising space specifically designed to part you
from your money) really, really seriously. This, I'd expect from the Vampire Diaries subset who manufactures and consumes melodrama like it was a food group but not the 'adult', ‘mature’ demographic we're told comprises the NCIS viewership. So much hate. Surely the demographics are mistaken. Quick, commission a study. I can't decide if the folks at TVFanatic gleefully look forward to an NCIS article for the free entertainment value or if they want to stab themselves in the eyes when they are handed anything NCIS to publish. There should be some sort of mandatory cool down period after a new article is posted before the floodgates are opened. OK. So I've had a little fun too at your expense. To those with comments that reflect a proportional objectivity and interest, (and they do exist) I offer my apologies. For everyone else, let the bashing begin. It'll prove my point. This is hysterical!

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@ Christy

How is the view from up there, above it all?

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@ TullaT

Fair point. As I waded through the posts in the middle of the night, sarcasm did reign supreme. Let me be serious, dial it back and for clarity and state I am speaking in generalities not absolutes. My assertions in no way encompass this entire little ecosystem. First, we are told as NCIS viewers we are the grownups yet we
are lobbing acrimonious barbs at strangers for no other reason than they hold a differing opinion. That’s some amusing irony there. Second, for all the voracity, I don’t see any conversions. For the most part we form our opinions and stick dogmatically to them refusing to allow that there even is another, and when our opinions are not accepted, we just restate our position with increasing aggression. Third, we make our assertions hoping to impact the show. I have serious reservations that TPTB make any decisions based on these rehashes by such a statistically small sampling. I mean the NCIS FB page is wallpapered with venom and it hasn’t altered trajectory (with the possible exception of toning down Bishop). I tend to think they cater to the middle who doesn’t so much post in forums. Just seems kind of fruitless. Once upon a time, NCIS was a nice little fandom but now the fan outlets are just a way to pick sides over things we cannot control and devalue others. (Calling posters baby killers?! Telling strangers to “Go to hell”?! and many other such responses … all which you can find below – I’m not making them up.) There's a serious lack of sense of humor and measured perspective here. I love NCIS and know it backwards and forwards thanks to USA Network. I too have definite opinions on Ziva/Tiva/Cote/Bishop/Tony/Glasberg, etc. but there's no call for the vehemence with which some opinions are aired. How inane it is that grownups who hate it so much don’t just pick up the remote and change the TV to any one of the hundreds of other channels/Netflix/Hulu options at their disposal? Why watch and then claim not to all the while spewing venom at anyone who does? Has that behavior ever gained anyone any respect? It’s childish and toxic to nurse the hate. An ep doesn’t go my way, I navigate over to a fanfic comm and read something featuring my favorite character written by an author who shares my lens, go to sleep, get up and resume my life.It’s pretend. I come here hoping for spoilers. . I’m glad everyone has opinions and there is a space to share them. But take a look through these posts with a fresh eye and then tell me you don’t think it’s a bit absurd how far some of us adults take it over a make believe environment. That alone should be a good impetus to lighten up a little and enjoy the show while not losing sight of the fact that it is just a show or let it go and change the channel altogether.

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@ Christy

I know its cute isn't it?

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Technomistress
@ Christy

LOL - great post, Christy. On the gleeful/stab part, I suspect they don't mind - NCIS stories get clicks (as is evidenced by the amount of comments here) and more clicks mean more money. :)

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@ Lisa Liscoumb

Thank you for finding the humor in this. :) To you and those like you able to see the humor and irony in this little diatribe, I offer an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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@ Christy

Well aren't you an extra special cupcake!

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If they're doing a young Ducky episode, they should do an episode where he starts working at NCIS.

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so we'll travel the world with NCIS! That's sound promising xx

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@ Amy Edwards

Well, Gibbs, McGee, Ducky, and Bishop will travel the world. Tony will stay in D.C. and click the clicker. Heaven forbid they should give him anything remotely exciting when Gibbs has to star in all pivotal and exciting moments as usual. Yawns.

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@ Pat

I love you pat you are the Brain Griffen of the internet

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@ Pat

Of course. He will use the clicker, and babysit Bishop when she isn't off traveling the globe as Gibbs' special partner. Why is he still in this job again?

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@ Pat

Well, Mark Harmon IS the star of the show. And don't worry, Tony's life is going to get more exciting this season as he meets a new woman! And while I hope it doesn't get too soap opera-ish, I'm excited to see him with a new love interest, maybe a REAL one this time. It's high time Tony found true love!

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@ Nena

He already did.

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Technomistress
@ Dido Twite

Unfortunately I think the Jeanne ship has sailed - too much water under the bridge for them to make it work now.

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@ Lisa Liscoumb

Jeanne was a needy manipulator who loved the undercover persona. She was not a true love.

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Technomistress
@ TullaT

Neither was Ziva. And she was just as manipulative, if not moreso than Jeanne.

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Awesome stuff! Doesn't really matter if folks don't like a new love interest for Tony since they claim they don't watch any more anyway now does it! LOL!! So go on with ya bad self DiNizzo, go get you a NEW girl who won't emasculate you at every opportunity! Can't wait to see who she is, and hope to see Tony finally settle down and maybe even have some little DiNizzo's! Yay!

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Technomistress
@ Nena

Agreed - my hope is that they create someone who supports, respects and cares about him, but who can still challenge him. Someone like Dana Hutton, the ZNN reporter he fell for who died from ricin poisoning.

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@ Lisa Liscoumb

I pretend that episode never existed. Turning Tony into a stalker in 15 minutes was atrocious.

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@ Nena

I still watch, and I do not want a love interest for Tony. That's the straw that will make me quit. But I'm just one person so who cares about little old me.

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@ Nena

Be careful, comments like that will incur the wrath of the cote/ziva worshipers

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@ Dean

Well I might need some comic relief later on so bring it!! LOL!!

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We are real fans and we also are based in reality. I'm with NCIS FAN and everyone else that has had it with the Ziva comments. We want to move on and enjoy the show and the current cast.

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Noisy-from-norway

Sounds like it will be a good season. Like the sound of this. Glad to hear that Tony will meet someone. I am so sick of the Bishop-hating and the Ziva-whorshiping. I've been a fan since the beginning and for me Kate was the best agent. It took me a while to like Ziva, mostly because of the Ari-connection and the the Tiva thing. I just don't get why people think Ziva and Tony belong together. Ziva never trusted Tony and when he made it clear he was there for her she slept with Adam.

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@ Hege Halvorsen Ålgårdstad

Kate was my favorite too. They had banter but always backed each other up. They made each other better while Ziva just tore Tony down. I tired of Ziva's air of superiority and the fact that the writers turned her into superwoman and dumbed down Tony in order to elevate her the last few seasons. I started out liking Ziva's spunk but then came Boxed In when she meanly and smugly left Tony out of the dinner party and it was all downhill from there. The asking Gibbs to throw him off the team, pointing a gun at him. The hurt on his face when she left him out in Chasing Ghosts. Why people want Tony to be with someone who has hurt him physically and emotionally and romantically I just can't comprehend. I can only assume they hate Tony. There's no other reason.

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@ Charley

Kate demeaned Tony at every opportunity. She was meaner to him than Ziva ever was.

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@ agentscully514

Kate's last words were mocking Tony. That was their relationship. She stuck around when he had the plague but that's hardly redeeming.

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@ TullaT

I don't see it that way at all. I don't find any heat behind Kate's snarking to Tony and Tony's snarking to Kate. It is a lot like siblings treat each other to me. I have a brother and we snarked at each other lots growing up but it didn't mean anything. I have 4 nieces and nephews and they snipe at each other one minute and show love and compassion the next. That's what siblings do in many families. I had a completely different feel for Ziva's snark against Tony. I think it was mean many times. Regardless, they all snarked. But going words, Ziva's the only one whose actions were also cruel to him time and again.

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@ agentscully514

Not really.. Ziva was horrible. Kate and Tony gave it back and forth but when push came to shove, they had each other's backs. Ziva was all about Ziva. She treated Tony like scum. I couldn't stand her.

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@ agentscully514

I don't agree that she was "meaner", but yes ... she also demeaned Tony. Difference is, no one was shoving Tony into Kate's arms and trying to convince us that they were soulmates and deeply in love.

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@ NotARedhead

You might want to talk to the actors about it, because that's how they played it.

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@ agentscully514

So says the baby killing Ziva worshiper.

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I would like to see Tony with a new love interest. Since about Season 8, he had been trying to bend over backward for Ziva. Maybe a change of pace would be nice. I liked Cote dePablo, but time must go on. I also would like to see a promotion for Tony, he and his team could have the office space next to Gibbs, just like Barrett did. When they said that there was a new NCIS spin off, I was hoping MW would have an opportunity to lead that show and make a success of it. However, as a long time fan, I will watch and enjoy NCIS. Love all the cast and characters !

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NCIS Quotes

Francis: Can I ask you a question, Bishop?
Bishop: Sure.
Francis: You enjoy working for Gibbs? I mean I heard he's tough. A real hard-ass. He's standing right behind me, isn't he?
Bishop: Yeah.

Hey, the Opera is one of the big three!

McGee
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