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

by at .  Updated at . Comments

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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Lora lavine

After how bad last season was I didn't think it could get worse but from this interview I have lost all hopes of an improvement in the show's quality. NCIS lost a strong agent only to have her replaced wiith a bland nothing. Now that Cote is back with CBS for a miniseries it would benefit NCIS to have Ziva pop back in every once in awhile. In my opinion that is the only thing that will save this show; and ofcourse getting rid of Bishop.

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@ Lora Lavine

Yes, because NCIS was doing so badly last season that they were the number one drama in the U.S. and in the entire world. Boy, what a horrible showing. I can't believe that they're still on the air when they're number one.

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Agentscully514
@ E fish

They were number one in the world for season 10, with Ziva.

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@ agentscully514

No they weren't

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@ agentscully514

Not all the world is behind the U.S., and the U.S. is included in the ratings. It was for series premiering in September 2013. That means season 11. Yes, for some countries, it would be a different season, but mostly it will be season 11.

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@ E fish

The award was for the calendar year 2013, January to December. You can look it up on the official website of the french rating company. Worldwide viewership in 2013 was somewhere around 57 million. Only the US saw Bishop in 2013, and it was only three episodes. The vast majority of the world only saw episodes with Ziva in 2013.

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@ Lora Lavine

I'm surprised you and the others who would kill new born children if it meant cote would come back have lasted this long.

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@ Lora Lavine

Bishop has been nothing but a huge disappointment. I struggled through last season with her. I'm done now.

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@ Lora Lavine

Really really what ever it takes more than one actor to make a show

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@ Michael

Michael they work as a team. The show never centered around one actor/character.

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@ Julie Merritt

That's what I wanted .. the show to work as a team ... as a family of sorts but it felt like to me that last few years of Ziva that the writers turned her into the only competent person and the rest of them were just there to prop her up. I hated that it got so one sided. I want them as a team where everyone is competent.

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@ Charley

That's exactly what the show was in season 11. Bishop was the only competent person, and everyone else was there to prop her up. I hope you enjoyed it.

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@ Julie Merritt

so then why do some people only obsess about one character? She was no more exceptional than any of the others.

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@ Julie Merritt

I know that PLEASE learn to read before making a comment

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@ Michael

I honestly wish that people would let the "Ziva" thing GO!!! I for one am sooo glad that Michael is finally getting a "Love" interest. I never thought Tony & Ziva belonged together, she was a big flirt & tease. Let's not forget how she went back to "Adam" to get a little also--I cannot see her being faithful to one man alone. She left her fans w/o any comment. I hope she stays gone from NCIS. JMHO!

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@ Angie

the baby butchers are just pissed after eight seasons they never saw Ziva give Tony head.

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Modwild
@ Dean

Would you please stop using terms like baby butchers and phrases about slicing up babies in relation to posters? It's very inappropriate. Thank you.

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Violet quinn
@ Carissa Pavlica

Dean's a troll, who for no apparent reason has not been banned yet.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Why not its true. The ziva/ cote fans think they're saints on a crusade and so they bash blame and say crap to the cast and crew and viewers who don't share their views if killing a baby was the only requirement to for Cote to return they wouldn't think twice about it.

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@ Dean

And you think anyone liking Ziva/Cote warrants calling them baby killers.

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@ Dean

Still the same old psycho I see.

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@ PatrickC

it's been said and not just by you, Pat.

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Gary Glasberg doesn't know what viewers want to watch! A new woman for Tony after 8 years of TIVA! Thanks no that's utter nonsense! And if there is so "no bad blood" why not have a TIVA happy ending at least sometime in the future! So much for Ziva is not replaceable and the door for her to return in future remains open...

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@ Sylvia

Actually Glasberg seems to have learned what the majority of viewers want - and it is not Tiva. The desperate attempts of a few to persuade them that 'everyone' wants Tiva, were proven incorrect in season 10 & 11. Pushing the relationship in season 10 did nothing to improve the viewing figures, contrary to the claims of those that wanted it, and season 11 without it had much steadier viewing figures. There doesn't have to be bad blood for her not to return, de Pablo made it clear that she wanted to move on to other things, something that you are too selfish to listen to because it's not what you want.

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@ Sylvia

Spoken like any other 'fan' who would disembowl newborns if it means Cote would return.

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@ Sylvia

Just because the door is open for her return doesn't mean she wants to walk through it. Cote chose to leave. She chose of her own free will not to be there anymore for her show, her castmates, or NCIS fans or even for tiva. As was her right. She's moved on. There's no one to blame. She made her own choice. Why is that so hard for people to understand? Why would her 'fans' or even Tony for that matter pine away for someone who doesn't want to be there?. It makes no sense.

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@ Sylvia

Sounds like you don't watch NCIS no one wants tiva

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Tony already has a romance, he doesn't need another one.

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@ Alicia

The frog's daughter left the show - Tony has had many sexual partners but Jeane is the only romance he has ever had in 11 seasons.

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Dido twite
@ Michael Johnson

She was needy, clingy, and pronounced her own name wrong.

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@ Alicia

Except that the actress who played what you call a romance, (although I saw little evidence that she loved anyone) is GONE. CdP quit. Hello in there - she's gone. Is Tony supposed to cry at his desk for the remainder of the series because CdP didn't like her lucrative contract offer? Geeze. Please move on and let's let Tony do the same.

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@ Alicia

It takes 2 to have a romance. Who's Tony's second? Cause I don't see anybody there.

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@ Charley

I guess the remainder of Tony's time on NCIS is supposed to be dedicated to pining away about an absent character who he never actually had a romance with and who treated him like something nasty on the bottom of her superior shoe. This just goes to prove my theory that tiva fans are really just Ziva/CdP fans who really don't give a crap about Tony or MW. He's just an accessory used to flatter their princess.

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Agentscully514
@ Alicia

agreed

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@ Alicia

He broke up with EJ

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tony is meeting a new woman? thank you for ruining my day or my month or my year of my show. Thank you gary

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I'd love to see Ducky in the UK but alas without Ziva I will not be watching the season, also Tony + New woman = No thanks. Very disappointed that you've gone and done this the whole show is going rapidly downhill without Ziva.

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Karbear

Why have Tony meet a woman when he is in love with Ziva? Bring Cote back for at least guest appearances and let someone actually be happy on the team. The rest of the storylines seem a little boring and to me reek of desperation.

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@ Karbear

Because MW has said that Tony is done with Ziva. Ziva rejected him in Israel and there's no relationship. Tony has moved on. He seems pretty happy if he's getting a new girlfriend. Tim seems quite happy even with a long-distance relationship. Ellie appears to be happily married. Actually, the whole team is a lot happier than the writers have let them be in years.

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Laura lafleur
@ Karbear

Cote doesn't want to come back. She's made that quite clear in her on line interviews. She's done with NCIS. Therfore, the show is done.

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@ Laura LaFleur

She has never done an onilne interview after she left. She did one interview with TVGuide, in which she made it clear she would be willing to return.

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@ TullaT

Wrong she said to TV guide she done she hate working with men

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Dido twite
@ Michael

Please learn how to read English.

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@ Karbear

Why have Tony meet a woman? Because the one you picked for him rejected him. He's in his 40's, not getting any younger, and deserves a life with someone who does want him. Ziva didn't -- time and time again.

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@ Karbear

Bring back a slut doesn't

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@ NCIS fan

NCIS Fan there is no slut on there.

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@ Julie Merritt

Ziva David she was the slut of the show

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@ NCIS fan

No, that would be Tony.

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@ Alicia

Tony is NOT a slut!

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Don't tell me, let me guess. Tony will meet a woman who knows movie quotes. That's shorthand for "woman for Tony".; How about you drop the Tony romance and focus on his job, since he has been in the same job for a decade. Let the man grow up and get promoted. Besides, like many fans, I will not accept any woman for him but Ziva. I don't care how much you have to pay her.

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Mary kleinsmith
@ Sandra Miller

They already met somebody like that. Her name is Delilah, and she gets along better with Tony than she does with Tim.

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@ Mary Kleinsmith

I agree. Tony is much more comfortable with Delilah than McGee. I actually wished they had let Margo play the replacement 4th and found a different love interest for Tim. I think she meshes better with the team than Bishop.

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Mary kleinsmith
@ Easton

I like Bishop just fine, but I definitely think she fits better with Tony than Tim. Delilah and Tony seem to genuinely have fun when they're together, whereas it's always serious and not fun when she's with Tim. Delilah and Tim are both very nice people, but that's not enough to make a relationship.

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Violet quinn
@ Easton

agreed, she had instant chemistry with the team. Bishop has none after six months.

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Violet quinn
@ Sandra Miller

I'm with you. Tony and Ziva belong together.

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@ VBQ

Like Putin and Snowdon

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Dido twite

Russia sounds like fun! I will not watch any episode with Tony romance. Not interested in seeing Tony with anyone but Ziva. If McGee can have a long distance relationship, so can Tony.

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@ Dido Twite

But Delilah didn't walk away from McGee. Ziva walked away from Tony. Can't be in a long distance relationship if the other person isn't willing. I also think like Russia sounds good. Tired of the middle east being the focus.

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Violet butler quinn
@ Charley

Russia is 20 years ago, they should have made it China.

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@ Violet Butler Quinn

Russia's not so 20 years ago, considering the events of the past couple of days.

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@ Violet Butler Quinn

But they're using Russia so that they can feature Giibbs for a change (sarcasm). No doubt this enemy will have a past connection to Gibbs and have a personal vendetta against like every single season finale since GG took over. Heaven forbid they feature Tony as more than comic relief or in his yearly one and done.

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@ Pat

More Super Gibbs, hurray! /sarcasm

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Dido twite
@ Pat

Yes, exactly. Gibbs speaks Russian, therefore we are going to Russia. It's funny because there was a whole story arc about an old director trying to make NCIS focus on Russia, but Vance came along and was a Middle East specialist, and they tried to have Vance klled. But now all of that is erased and we are going back to Russia, hurray!

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@ Pat

season 1 and 2 were all the team season 3 was gibbs season 4 was Jenny and Tony season 5 was Jenny season six was Ziva season 7 was Gibbs season 8 was the team season 9 was the whole team season 10 was Ziva.

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@ Pat

Gibbs speaks russian so a trip to Russia would;t be unusual. Tony speaks spanish, unless you want them to do a border story Russia it is. NOLA would probably cover the border areas. Hey crossover eli with Tony!

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@ leia

They already did a border story with that never ending Rivera drama that will not die. ENOUGH

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@ Sandra Miller

Well they made Tony's Spanish language skills disappear when Ziva came along so that she could know every language known to man kind. On another site where one of the posters native language is Russian, he said that Mark Harmon's "Russian" is beyond awful. But hey, anything to center everything around Gibbs, right?

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@ Sandra Miller

I was thinking of something more contemporary like whats happening at the border now. Too bad you don't like Gibbs, I;m fine with him, since he is the lead character, and his dedication to job is so admirable, as is the actor who portrays him

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@ Violet Butler Quinn

Watched the news lately????

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Dido twite
@ FAN*not*FANATIC

Yeah I have .... all of the cyber attacks come from China. Most spies in the US are Chinese. Oh, are you referring to their internal conflict? Not the concern of NCIS.

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Violet quinn
@ Dido Twite

yeah, how come McGee is allowed?

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@ VBQ

Because 'Delilah' wants a relationship and 'Ziva' dumped Tony in Israel in episode two...duh.

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Violet butler quinn
@ kch50428

Ziva's goodbye didn't do her justice, or Tony either.

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@ Violet Butler Quinn

It's all CdP was willing to do...

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Agentscully514
@ kch50428

Ridiculous story for Ziva. She spent years dealing with her past and had made so much progress ... only to have a nervous breakdown and go back to Israel. Please.

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@ agentscully514

Yeah - I guess they should have just killed her off.

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@ agentscully514

Spoken like every ziva worshiper who would gut newborns like fish if it means your goddess Cote would return.

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Eager for all the action on Season 12 of NCIS !

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: Rule number 70 - keep digging till you hit bottom.
Abby: McGee! There is no rule 70.
McGee: Well, I--
Abby: You just made up a rule. This McGibbs thing has really gone to your head. I don't even recognize you right now.

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.