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NCIS - Season 11 - Gary Glasberg Interviews about New Orleans spin-off

Interview with TVLine:

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.

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Interview with TVGuide:

"They were all together part of a group called the Fed 5, which was this very strong group of NCIS agents," creator Gary Glasberg tells TVGuide.com. "This is really a look back at who and what they were as a team. ... It was an opportunity to cast some really special actors to come in and help us, and have some fun with the folklore and the history of Gibbs."

As previously announced, Bakula's character will anchor the spin-off project and is based on the real-life D'Wayne Swear, an "eccentric, fantastic individual who ran the real office for almost 25 years" and is now serving as a creative consultant for the show, according to Glasberg. In fact, it was learning about Swear in his preliminary research that made Glasberg wonder whether he had an entirely new series on his hands.

"Last hiatus, I was talking to Mr. Harmon, as I always do, about story lines that I wanted to do in the coming season. I had learned that the office that's in New Orleans is very small and unique and was run by a really unique individual in real life," Glasberg explained. "And what started off as a sweeps episode quickly became a pilot pitch. We went in with sort of an elaborate pitch that included some music and all kinds of visuals, and really all about the city of New Orleans, kind of a love letter to the city. And the next thing I knew, here we are. It's been a lot of fun."

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