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TCA 2014: 'NCIS'' Mark Harmon talks crossover with New Orleans spin-off

Mark Harmon will help with 'NCIS' spinoff set in New Orleans

Pack your bags, Gibbs: You might be heading to New Orleans again before too long.

This fall will bring the premiere of the procedural "NCIS: New Orleans," and the producers are making it clear that there will be plenty of crossover with the mothership, "NCIS," which stars Mark Harmon as a stoic special agent investigating military crimes.

"I'm here to help" colleagues making the spin-off, Harmon told reporters during a Thursday session at the TV press tour in Beverly Hills.

"We shot down there [in New Orleans] very aggressively for five days shooting the pilot," added Harmon, who serves as executive producer on the spin-off. "I've learned a few things in 12 years" starring in "NCIS."

"NCIS: New Orleans" was introduced this past spring through a two-part "NCIS" episode that found Gibbs in Louisiania trying to crack a congressman's murder. The series — which starts shooting next week in New Orleans — stars Scott Bakula as Dwayne Pride, the special agent in charge of the local NCIS office. 

It becomes the second spin-off in the hit "NCIS" family. "NCIS: Los Angeles" has run on CBS since 2009.

The original "NCIS" — itself a spin-off of the military-justice drama "JAG" — has become one of the most successful series in TV history, both in the U.S. and overseas. CBS Entertainent Chairman Nina Tassler called the show a billion-dollar franchise during an earlier session with reporters on Thursday.

Perhaps because of its creative history, "NCIS" has taken crossovers to a new level. "NCIS: Los Angeles" has blended storylines with "Hawaii Five-O," another CBS crime drama. 

Executive producer Gary Glasberg — who started toiling away on the spin-off shortly after he and Harmon batted around ideas last year — said managing the logistics of crossovers is part of the challenge of the franchise.

“There's a lot that goes into that in terms of schedules," Glasberg said.  "We’ll keep the balls in the air and make that work as best we can.”

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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