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11x16 "Dressed to Kill" Press Release

DINOZZO IS THE SUBJECT OF AN INVESTIGATION AFTER GUNS ARE DRAWN AND A MAN IMPERSONATING A NAVY OFFICER IS LEFT DEAD, ON THE 250TH EPISODE OF “NCIS,” TUESDAY, MARCH 4

Robert Wagner Returns as Anthony DiNozzo, Sr.

“Dressed to Kill” – When DiNozzo confronts a man impersonating a Navy officer, guns are drawn and the perpetrator is left dead. The subsequent investigation uncovers that the only eyewitness is DiNozzo’s father, who is in town to disclose a secret to his son, on the 250th episode of NCIS, on Tuesday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Robert Wagner returns as Anthony DiNozzo, Sr.

CHEAT TWEET: DiNozzo Sr. is back in town & he has a big secret! What do you think it is? #NCIS #DiNozzoSecret 3/4 8pm ET/PT #CBS

SERIES REGULARS
Mark Harmon (NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo)
David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard)
Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto)
Sean Murray (NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee)
Rocky Carroll (NCIS Director Leon Vance)
Brian Dietzen (Jimmy Palmer)

GUEST CAST
Robert Wagner (Anthony DiNozzo, Sr.)
Bess Armstrong (U.S. Senator Denise O’Hara)
Hugo Armstrong (NCIS Special Agent Eugene Coyle)
John Livingston (Will Pritchard)
Aja Evans (Taylor)
Desiree Hall (Jennifer Morrison)
Everette Wallin (Navy Commander Lionel Saxon)
Suzanne Quast (Liz Allen)
Anthony Palermo (Nicholas “Nick” Bodeen A.K.A. Navy Commander)

WRITTEN BY: George Schenck and Frank Cardea
DIRECTED BY: Tom Wright
It is a sad day for NCIS fans, with the passing of Ralph Waite, who plays Gibbs’ dad. Will his passing mean that Jackson Gibbs has passed away as well, and will the writers fit it into an episode? –Jessica

It’s a safe bet that NCIS will acknowledge Waite’s passing with a proper on-screen storyline. But remember, when last I spoke to show boss Gary Glasberg, he was already sketching out the season finale. So the likely issue is when they can accommodate such an important story beat. Thus, I ask you: If it means giving Waite his most proper due, would you be OK if the show held off until Season 12?

updated list of episode titles

11×16 “Dressed to Kill”

11×17 “Rock and a Hard Place”

11×18 “Crescent City” (part of the NCIS: New Orleans two part introduction episodes).

DiNozzo-centric finale?

It is time on NCIS for Rule 38: “Your case, your lead.” Will we see Tony DiNozzo in the lead again? –Ann

Cross your fingers, because you just might get something resembling a Tony-centric Season 11 finale. As show boss Gary Glasberg told me at TCA, “I’d really like to focus on and come up with something for the season finale that has a strong Tony element to it – in fact, we’re about to sit down and talk about that.”

some NCIS scoop

What is going on with NCIS‘ Jimmy Palmer? It seems that the show has toned down his involvement this season. –Sherry

Show boss Gary Glasberg reminds, “We’ve had this [storyline] runner that we started, about his personal life and his wanting to adopt. That’ll continue through the season,” ultimately leading to “an emotional bit of closure.”

I’m curious, will we see Tony’s apartment again soon on NCIS? –Cheryl

As a matter of fact, yes – in Episode 17, Glasberg says.

possible return for Cote De Pablo?

Question: Michael Weatherly has made a few statements recently which indicate that Cote de Pablo may return to NCIS full-time. What can you tell us about this? —Anne

Ausiello: Weatherly said on the red carpet at the People’s Choice Awards, “We miss her every day… and I really hope she comes back.” Period. Cue the “Telephone Game.” That said, it seems that de Pablo wouldn’t be guaranteed the warmest of homecomings. David “Ducky” McCallum recently expressed to DigitalSpy his “frustration and anger that someone should just walk out on us,” adding: “I just don’t understand how a leading lady in a show that’s worldwide, who ostensibly wants to have a career as an actress, suddenly walks away from such a gem and just vanishes a couple of days before we start production.”

11x15 "Bulletproof" press release

THE NCIS TEAM RACES TO LOCATE DEFECTIVE BULLETPROOF VESTS BEING SENT OVERSEAS TO ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY, ON “NCIS,” TUESDAY, FEB. 18

“Bulletproof” – After uncovering faulty bulletproof vests in a truck filled with stolen U.S.M.C. merchandise, the NCIS team attempts to locate both the source and any vests that had been shipped to military personnel overseas, on NCIS, Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

CHEAT TWEET: #NCIS races to keep the military safe when faulty bulletproof vests are discovered in stolen merchandise 2/18 8/7c

SERIES REGULARS
Mark Harmon (NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo)
David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard)
Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto)
Sean Murray (NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee)
Rocky Carroll (NCIS Director Leon Vance)
Brian Dietzen (Jimmy Palmer)
Emily Wickersham (NSA Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop)

GUEST CAST
Margo Harshman (Delilah Fielding)
Sarah Aldrich (Karen Upline)
Adrian LaTourelle (Benson Honeycutt)
Jarrod Bailey (Chris Valley)
Ki Hong Lee (Chris Hoffman)
Challen Cates (Fay Gussman)
Shannon Cochran (Mallory Linn)
Kurt Yaeger (Freddie Linn)

WRITTEN BY: Christopher Waild
DIRECTED BY: Leslie Libman

11x14 "Monsters and Men" Press Release

BISHOP REVEALS HER PAST CONNECTION TO PARSA AS THE TEAM CONTINUES THEIR RELENTLESS HUNT FOR THE ELUSIVE TERRORIST, ON “NCIS,” TUESDAY, FEB. 4

“Monsters and Men” – The murder of a port authority officer reveals Parsa’s possible whereabouts, as the team continues their tireless hunt. Meanwhile, Bishop reveals her past association with the elusive terrorist, on NCIS, Tuesday, Feb. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

CHEAT TWEET: Find out how Bishop knows so much about Parsa and what his next move will be #NCIS 2/4 8/7c

SERIES REGULARS
Mark Harmon (NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo)
David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard)
Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto)
Sean Murray (NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee)
Rocky Carroll (NCIS Director Leon Vance)
Brian Dietzen (Jimmy Palmer)
Emily Wickersham (NSA Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop)

GUEST CAST
Karan Oberoi (Benham Parsa)
Nestor Serrano (NSA Supervisor Jeremy Marlens)
Shishir Kurup (Khalil Farooq)
Aaron Hill (Navy Seal Lieutenant William Blake)
John Allen Nelson (JSOC Vice Admiral Lloyd Manditsky)
Rob Evors (Navy Hull Technician Chief David Harketti)
Adrian Gonzalez (Watchstander)

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Corbett
DIRECTED BY: Dennis Smith

some NCIS news

Question: Any scoop on what’s next for Tony on NCIS? –Laura

Ausiello: If you’re among those concerned that DiNozzo will rush into a grand new romance, with Bishop’s pop culture-savvy NSA pal Sofia Martinez, you needn’t be. “I don’t think his next relationship is going to happen anytime soon,” show boss Gary Glasberg tells us. “Part of letting Tony be Tony and letting him be flirtatious and talk to women is that these women don’t really matter. They’re quick encounters that he’s having; it’s not Ziva. They’re not ones that count. Eventually, will there be another [great love]? Maybe.”

With the new team dynamic on NCIS, Tony really looks overqualified for his job. He’s been there forever. As part of his promised “growth” are we going to see him get a promotion? –Sandra

OK, so I brought to showrunner Gary Glasberg everyone’s concern about Tony’s “growth,” especially as Ziva’s exit grows farther and farther away. He avowed, “It’s really important to all of us — it’s important to me, it’s important to Michael Weatherly — that the character of Tony DiNozzo continues to grow.” But outgrowing Gibbs’ team likely will never be a part of that. “That’s something that we at one point or another talk about…. But at the end of the day, as I have learned from real agents that I’ve spoken to, once you find a team that you feel comfortable with, that’s just where you stay,” Glasberg explained. “You become a part of the family, and that’s just what it is.”

NCIS scoop, please! I can't believe Delilah is paralyzed! —Charlie

I know, right? Naturally, Delilah's recovery will strain her relationship with McGee, but executive producer Gary Glasberg promises that they won't break up. "It's going to be a bumpy road for them, but I think you'll see how it brings them closer together," he says.
Who’s ready to meet the “missing” Mrs. Gibbs?
Having just recently had some on-screen fun with the fact that NCIS has never identified, let alone cast, Jethro’s second ex-wife, the CBS drama has a plan to fill in that conspicuous blank.
Speaking with TVLine at CBS’ Television Critics Association winter press tour cocktail party, showrunner Gary Glasberg shared, “I can promise you that [the mystery wife] is probably going to get touched on in Season 12″ — which, yes, has not officially been ordered, but come on.
Introducing that ex promises to be “[storyline] gold,” Glasberg effused. “I have a little tiny space on my Dry Erase board for stories for next season, and that’s already up there.”
Gibbs was first married to Shannon (played by Scandal‘s Darby Stanchfield), who, with their daughter, tragically died. Next, he wed Diane (Mad Men‘s Melinda McGraw), who is also Agent Fornell’s ex. And following his marriage to the yet-to-be-revealed “Redhead,” Gibbs traded vows with Stephanie (The West Wing‘s Kathleen York).
Of course, nary a month goes by where one NCIS viewer doesn’t email TVLine to ask if series star Mark Harmon’s real-life wife, actress Pam Dawber, will ever guest-star on TV’s most watched drama — perhaps even as Gibbs’ mystery missus.
“That’d be fun,” Glasberg acknowledges. “Every year someone says, ‘Maybe Pam will [be on the show],’ and every year it doesn’t happen.
“I have a feeling that’s a tall order,” he offered, “but it’s worth a phone call.”
Short of Pam Dawber, who would you cast as The Missing Mrs. Gibbs? Or are some holding out hope that she and Miranda Pennebaker (once played by Alex Kingston) are one and the same?

ncis_gibbs_wives

Matt's Inside Line | TV Line

Any new NCIS scoop from the TCAs? –Cheryl

My So-Called Life‘s Bess Armstrong is set to guest-star in Episode 250, though aparently not as the new lady in DiNozzo Sr.’s life. “The woman in his life plays as a bit of a mystery,” show boss Gary Glasberg tells me. “It’s coming, but it’s not cast yet.”
NCIS Season 11 has been one of change, new directions and new faces.

And it could’ve all crashed and burned like a conspirator’s bomb.

Instead, the show has recovered well from the departure of Cote de Pablo’s Ziva and the impact that development had on core relationship of Ziva and Tony.

The addition of Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop has been a positiv thing mostly because she’s not so much as a replacement for Ziva as she is a new, interesting character for the NCIS team and the series itself. Bravo!

At the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday, I sat down with showrunner Gary Glasberg to talk over where we’re at in this season and where we’re heading, including why he and Mark Harmon may soon be spending time in New Orleans..

TV Fanatic: You guys have gone over this big hurdle with Ziva gone and it seems to be working really well.

Gary Glasberg: It's kind of great. I'm fascinated by...Season 11 should be like you come in and put it on auto-pilot and it's been anything but that. So to be hit with what we started with, which was Ziva's departure, and then all the effort that went into finding Emily and creating Bishop…

I think that overall the response has been fantastic. There'll always be a group of people who continue to really hold on, and I appreciate how connected they are to Ziva but I don't think I could have asked for this transition to work any better, honestly.

TVF: The fact that you’re still bringing up Ziva's name, how do you navigate when to stop doing that or when you don't need to do it as much? Is there a gauge for that at all?

GG: I feel like, internally, we all feel like it's necessary to move on. We recognize in life that people might comment or look back or say, ‘Ziva would have done this,’ or ‘Ziva would have done that.’ Is there an opportunity to do that? Yeah, once in a while. But I also feel like it's a little bit of a mine field in that every time you revisit a character like that, it brings your existing cast back, and they're not allowed to grow, and so it's important for all of them to move on in a lot of ways.

There's an interesting dynamic, a brother-sister sort of dynamic that's there between Tony and Bishop. You know, the connection between Bishop and Gibbs, I think, is different than anything that he had with Ziva. We're pleased with it. And off-camera, too, the chemistry and the support that Harmon and Weatherly and Pauley and the rest of the team have offered to Emily has been fantastic. And we'll experiment and find things and continue to figure out who she is.

TVF: Will we get more personal stories with her and get to know her life outside of work?

GG: No, it'll get there. We know that she's married. We know that she's from Oklahoma. I'd love to meet her parents at some point, or a parent. We know that she's got a large family, a bunch of brothers. I'd love to meet them. I know that the husband, who's also at the NSA, is a big part of who she is, and we'll certainly touch on that at some point, but the beauty of NCIS is sort of doling it out in little bits and pieces and touching on it and then walking away from it for a while and coming back, so we'll get there.

TVF: In regards to this week’s episode, our review brought up whether Tony flirting with Martinez was too soon, not because of Ziva but because of McGee's story. Thoughts?

GG: It's such a tightrope, and everyone responds to Tony differently. At some point, we have to let Tony be Tony. And part of his defense mechanism is flirtation. And so wherever he is psychologically, to look at a woman or comment to a woman or spend time with a woman may not be what you're interpreting on the surface. There's usually something else going on with him, it's just the nature of who he is.

TVF: Is there more of Martinez coming?

GG: Right now, we don't have anything written, but I think the consensus was that she was fun. So if the opportunity comes up and we can make a connection through a case, then I'd be happy to have her come back.

TVF: The whole Parsa story, that arc, is that going to be with us for a while or is that just kind of a contained arc?

GG: After [NCIS Season 11 Episode 13], there's one more, and then it wraps itself up in a really significant, cool way and I'm about to go into the editing room and start working on that. I'm pleased with it. It was a fun sort of villain to launch at the beginning of the season. It's not going to carry all the way through to the end, but we'll certainly tie it up in a way that I think people will be satisfied with.

TVF: Will repercussions from the end of that arc, will we see that, moving forward? Does it have any kind of big impact?

GG: It absolutely affects Gibbs. It affects Bishop in a huge way. And of course, the repercussions of what happened between McGee and Delilah will continue further into the season.

TVF: What can you tell me about where we’re heading with Delilah and McGee and how her recovery will impact their relationship?

GG: Adding this to any relationship is a tremendous amount of weight on both of their shoulders. She has to figure out what her life is going to be like. He now has a relationship with someone who's been through something tragic and is dealing with changes and who they are and how they're going to move forward. I think it's real and I think that they'll come at issues and problems as they surface. I'm excited about it. I feel like it's not something that you see on television very often. To have a disabled character will be unique for us, it will be a challenge but I think all the writers are willing to rise to the occasion and give it a shot.

TVF: I know she's very busy, but Susanna Thompson, any more with her? She has such a nice chemistry with Mark.

GG: That worked out well, didn't it? I'd love to have her come back. You know, it was funny. It had been so long. And we approached her, and I think she was a little hesitant, just wondering what it was that we were planning. And then when she saw the script and how we wanted to use her, she came and played and was excited, and it went great. She told us she had a fantastic time. So I think it would be fun to have her back again, but we'll have to see when and where…I was very lucky in that because of the relationship between CBS and the CW, we were able to figure something out. But scheduling-wise, she would go shoot up there for a few days and then she'd come back to us. It was a little bit of a juggle.

TVF: I know over the years Gibbs has had different romantic things, whether it's Jamie Lee Curtis or other people. Will Gibbs have any romance the rest of this season?

GG: This season, because of all of the change and the adjustment and the things that were being introduced, we didn't feel like this was a season to sort of get him involved with someone, but it's always a fun story arc, and Mark's always game. It'll happen again.

TVF: Where are you and Mark with the spin-off?

GG: I've written two episodes that will air sometime the end of March. Both scripts are written. I'm really excited about it. The characters are rich and fun and different, and it mixes the Washington with this New Orleans world in what I hope is a unique and different way. We haven't cast yet. We're just starting the process. There's a lot of work to do. I'm going to go down there next week for a day or two. It's all just beginning and ramping up, and people seem to be enthusiastic, and hopefully, we'll come up with something good.

TVF: Can we expect all of our NCIS people to be in those episodes, or do you think you'll give some of them a breather just because there will be new people coming in?

GG: The way that the scripts are structured, they don't all go [to New Orleans], but they are all in the episodes. So there's business going on in DC and then there's business going on back there, and there's a lot of inter-cutting that happens.

TVF: What does the rest of the season hold, including the 250th episode. Any guest stars to talk about?

GG: We're in prep on the big DiNozzo senior 250th episode, so we're excited about that. After that, I don't think I have anybody really, guest-wise, lined up yet, but I know I've got some roles coming up that should be fun. And then also, the writing staff and I are about to sit down and start arcing out the final four episodes of the season.

So yeah, it's a bit of a roller coaster ride from this point forward because I've got an episode that starts prepping Monday, and then right after that, we start prepping New Orleans. So there's all the work that goes along with that. And then I come back from those two episodes, and then I think we have one or two episodes, and then we'll launch right into our final arc. So it's going to be an interesting run.

TVF: For the 250th, do you approach it as more of an homage to the 250 episodes or do you think of it as a way to kind of shift gears a little bit for whatever's coming next?

GG: When we did Man Walks Into a Bar, that was really an homage and that was something we understood could be different and should be different. This is really just a really sort of a fun, traditional episode of the show. It's a milestone. It's a fantastic milestone. We're happy with how things are going and want to keep it going. We figured bringing back Mr. Wagner was a fun nod to things, and he actually did the 150th. So yeah. So we figured, well, this is a good time to do it.
A second goldfish is nice and all, sure, but why isn’t NCIS‘ Tony keeping Ziva in his life in a more literal way, either through Skyping (on an encrypted line, of course) or any other 21st-century technology available to him?
PHOTOS | Winter TV Spoiler-palooza! Your Scoop-Filled Guide to NCIS and 30 Other Returning Favorites
“A lot of people have approached me about the idea of not shutting the door entirely on [their staying in touch], and I’m not opposed to it,” showrunner Gary Glasberg told TVLine at the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday, when we asked if the CBS drama might ever suggest that Tony (played by Michael Weatherly) is finding ways to communicate with his ex-colleague (former cast member Cote de Pablo). “But it has to be done in a way where it feels organic to the storytelling and we’re not just throwing in lines about Ziva here and there.”
For example, “If Tony’s in a personal relationship or there’s something significant happening for him and he wondered how she would respond, then maybe we can figure out a way to do it. It’s a valid issue to bring up.”
But anyone asking for both “Tiva” to somehow live on (even off camera) and for Tony to grow as a person/agent, is talking about two mutually exclusive things.
“Every time we bring her up, for Michael [Weatherly] and for Tony, it pulls him back to being in that relationship again,” Glasberg explained. “So it’s a tricky balance.
“We’re as sensitive to him moving forward post-Ziva as the rest of the world is,” Glasberg also said, because doing so “gives him the opportunity to grow and try things and meet people and move on.”
Addressing NCIS‘ other hot topic — SPOILER ALERT for this week’s episode — Glasberg said he is “really proud” of the decision to make McGee’s new girlfriend Delilah (recurring player Margo Harshman) the victim of a bomb blast, leaving her paralyzed.
“Sometimes I walk into the writers room and I say, ‘We’re going to do something…,’ and they look at me like I have six heads — and one of those instances was I wanted this bomb to go off, similar to some of the tragic stories that I saw after the Boston marathon,” he shared. “I remember seeing a piece about a bunch of [female victims] who had managed to start to pull their lives back together again, and I wanted to try to capture some of that on our show. The intent is to show a really smart individual take control of her life and rise up after all she’s been through. We’re excited about the arc that character is going to face as someone in a wheelchair.”
It's no secret that NCIS got off to a bumpy start this season — at least behind the scenes — after the sudden and unexpected departure of star Cote de Pablo. However, now that the show was officially introduced new addition Emily Wickersham, showrunner Gary Glasberg is confident it's smooth sailing from here.

"It was a challenge. The way that this whole season unfolded was a bit of a surprise for many of us," he told reporters at Wednesday's Television Critics Association winter TV previews. "To suddenly lose a character that has been a part of this show for nine years is significant."

Glasberg said he knew right away that he would wanted to "do something different" when it came time to craft Ziva's replacement. "I wanted it to feel incredibly different, but not change the chemistry and the mix of what makes NCIS work," he said. "Bishop is different. She comes at things differently. She handles herself differently."

Glasberg only had praise for Wickersham, who he said has brought "all kinds of layers" to the character of Ellie Bishop. "I'm really excited about what she brings to the table, how it changes things," he said. "The actors are excited. It opened all kinds of doors for us."

Although writing Ziva out was difficult, Glasberg said he and the writers have enjoyed developing a new character this far into the show's run. "It's a process and it's been fun for us as writers to figure out how to do this 11 seasons into the show," he said.

Glasberg is also excited about where things are going because of the fan reaction to Bishop thus far. "Overall, it's been very positive," he said. "I know people have a tremendous connection to the Ziva character, and we all did, but shows evolve and change, and things move on and that's where we are. I couldn't be happier with our choice."

Matt's Inside Line | TV Line

Absolutely loved NCIS “Kill Chain” and I’m so ready for the upcoming episode, “Double Back”. But is this going to be the token “McGee angst” episode for the season, or is this emotional fallout going to continue on? –Leilani

No, I am hearing that the “McGee angst” will not be 100 percent nipped in the bud in the very next episode.

upcoming episode titles and air dates

2/4/14 (#248) Monsters and Men

2/18/14 (#249) Bulletproof
CBS’ NCIS resumes Season 11 tonight at 8/7c with the renewed threat of terrorist Benham Parsa, whose handiwork first targeted Gibbs’ team in the fall premiere. As part of TVLine’s midseason preview special, we invited showrunner Gary Glasberg to tease what’s ahead, address some concerns about the team’s newest player and weigh in on NCIS: New Orleans casting ideas.

TVLINE | First, I have to comment on the “Devil’s Triad” episode featuring Diane Fornell’s return, which was funnier that two-thirds of the sitcoms on that week. And you’re doing this with the older members of the cast. Put Mark Harmon, Joe Spano and Melinda McGraw in a room together and they’re hilarious.
Yeah, they’re really good and they really enjoy working together. We know we can’t do that all the time, but it’s fun in between serious story lines to mix it up and have a good time. Mark Harmon has fun with it.

TVLINE | OK, because I was privately wondering as I watched these scenes — specifically when Gibbs gets uncomfortable because Tobias is talking about his sex life or naughty texts — if Mark enjoys all that or not.
No, he loves it. We’re 11 seasons into a show and it’s an opportunity to lighten it up for an episode and have some fun and see a different side of things. We recognize that it’s not a well that we can go to often, but once in a while it’s fun.

TVLINE | Will you be opening the second half of the season with some narrative momentum? Is it time to start zeroing in on a bigger through line?
Yes, and the Parsa story that we set up at the beginning of the year, the terrorist story, is going to all come back in a big way. Episode 12 is going to come out of the gate hot.

TVLINE | What are you doing with Hollis Mann in that episode?
Susanna Thompson is back as Hollis Mann on January 7 and she plays a big part in the investigation that’s going on, and then she has this huge backstory in these really terrific scenes with Harmon, with Gibbs. Their moments together are terrific, and apparently she had a great time coming back some 150 episodes later. I think that she wasn’t quite sure, after all this time, what we were going to have her doing, but she plays a really key role in how that story unfolds.

TVLINE | What all are you saying at this point about Episode 250 [which begins filming in late January]?
Well, you’ve got the return of DiNozzo Sr. [Robert Wagner] also did our 150th episode, which I didn’t even put together when we were planning it on the wall. There’s a new woman coming into the lives of the DiNozzo boys….

TVLINE | Tony Sr. has moved on?
Dad is spending time with someone, yeah, so it’ll be fun. We’re going to have a good time with it. [It brings] lots of questions and uncomfortable moments for Michael Weatherly['s character].

TVLINE | OK, because if the fans ever make one comment about the DiNozzo reunions, is that they’re always kind of huggy and there’s never much angst or any real issues.
This will be angst and lightness and fun and all the while, a crime going on at the same time.

TVLINE | One of our readers wanted to know if you will touch again on Tony and the support group he was going to….
That might come up again. Frank [Cardea] and George [Schenck] are actually going to write the 250th episode, so maybe in conjunction with that we can have some fun with that, since they’re the ones that brought it up to begin with [in the episode "Alibi"].

TVLINE | Last summer, pre-season, you teased that you had something percolating regarding Ducky. Is that still in place?
I don’t know. Probably when I said that, I didn’t expect the season to unfold quite the way it did as it has so far. If that happens, it would probably be something that we do toward the end of the season. That’s what we’re figuring out right now. But in the immediate future, no.

TVLINE | Any other specific beats you want to talk up?
Well, in “Kill Chain,” Delilah gets really involved again, so Margo Harshman is coming back and McGee’s relationship moves along a little bit further. I’ve been thrilled to have her and we’ve got some exciting things planned for that relationship. It feels real to us, we’re having a good time with it and people love to have Margo around. Then Wendy Makkena, who played Kate’s sister, Dr. [Rachel] Cranston, comes back in Episode 13.

TVLINE | Who is she going to be shrinking?
She comes back as part of what happens with the Parsa story. She sort of checks in with everybody and has some interesting insight and even comments. She knows all about the history of that desk and who sat there, and she has a really lovely scene with Bishop.

TVLINE | Let’s talk for a moment about Bishop and what must have been a balancing act in introducing her. Because you want to establish that this gal knows her stuff, but as I even saw in “Devil’s Triad,” there arguably are moments where she kind of shows up Gibbs – and that can rub people the wrong way.
That’s interesting, because we certainly didn’t mean it that way. You want to prove to people that she’s an asset, that she’s valuable to the team. But she shouldn’t come across as disrespectful in any way. She’s very much a part of this group. She has a specific talent and a specific purpose and if it feels like she’s steering them in any way, that’s the last thing we want. If people are responding that way, then believe me, we hear it and we’ll do everything we can to make it not feel that way.

TVLINE | Are we going to see any chinks in her armor? She’s been relatively perfect for an untrained agent so far.
Actually, you’ve got something really significant coming up once we come back after the holidays. She’s got faults just like everybody else.

TVLINE | Is it safe to say that Parsa will figure into your season finale?
No. But I would say that [sets in motion] a bit of a roller coaster ride for a good portion of the winter.

TVLINE | Do you know what your season finale is, then?
Actually, we just had a little meeting about it. We have a sense of where we’re heading but there’s a lot of work to do. And I have to write the two episodes of [the] New Orleans [spin-off pilot] before that.

TVLINE | When I reported on the roles you’re casting for New Orleans, I suggested Tom Welling (Smallville) for LaSalle and the readers went nuts. I also at one point tried to come up with a cast list that was all New Orleans-born actors, but I only got as far as Frederick Weller from In Plain Sight and Katherine LaNassa, who’s kind of busy over on Longmire.
I enjoyed that list. That was fun. I forwarded your article to our casting department and everybody said, “Yeah, those are all good.”

TVLINE | And then some fans say, “Bring back Joel Gretsch on the spin-off.” That Stan Burley could be one of the characters.
Well, that’s the fun part. I also saw a tweet from Diane Neal (who plays Agent Borin), saying how excited she is about New Orleans. All of those characters, they can all cycle through.

TVLINE | Even when I spoke to Rocky Carroll the other day, he was like, “I want to visit New Orleans.”
Well, he’s the director, so it’s very plausible and hopefully likely. I’m excited about the opportunities and as soon as we get the scripts done and we get deeper into casting and things start to happen, I’m happy to talk to you about it some more.
As the new kid on the block on NCIS, Ellie Bishop is starting to find her footing with her new job assignment and colleagues — and the same can be said for Emily Wickersham, who portrays the quirky NSA agent.

“I love her awkwardness, and I love how smart she is,” Wickersham tells TVGuide.com about her character. “She totally lacks self-awareness, because she’s so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she’s kind of absent-minded. She’s so used to working by herself and thinking things through in her head alone. And so socially, I think sometimes that can kind of come off in an odd way, but it’s just that this is how she works.”

On Tuesday’s episode, “Kill Chain” (8/7c, CBS), the NCIS crew teams up with the Department of Defense to track down a stolen drone that links back to the terrorist cell Parsa. In doing so, Bishop crosses paths with Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) ex-girlfriend, Hollis Mann (Susanna Thompson). “Bishop learns a lot about Gibbs’ ex-loves in this episode,” Wickersham teases. “It seems to be a recurring theme. There’s also a big moment that happens at the end that I can’t really talk about … that’ll have a long-lasting impact on the team members.”

Wickersham admits she was intimidated to come in as a replacement for Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), whose departure from the show earlier this season left many fans reeling. “Her work here was amazing, and I think they’re big shoes to fill,” Wickersham said of her predecessor. “So I was totally nervous. I still am nervous about it. But I’m excited to be here and to be a part of this team, and excited to work with them all.”

And as for Tiva ‘shippers who were rooting for a romance between Ziva and Tony (Michael Weatherly), Wickersham says they shouldn’t expect to see any sparks flying between Bishop and DiNozzo. “It’s definitely a very different relationship,” she says. “With Tony, it’s pretty brotherly. … There are some jokes cracked between the two, just like a brother and a sister would have. There’s sibling stuff happening.” (It’s also worth noting that Bishop is happily married, and her husband will be introduced in a future episode.)

Though Bishop is still working with NCIS on a temporary joint assignment with NSA, it’s a safe bet the character will be sticking around for a while, as Wickersham was upped to a series regular before she even made her debut. “We’ll see if she gets to join the team,” the actress says coyly. “I think it’s something that really excites her, being able to work as a team member. Growing up with three older brothers, she’s used to being around guys. And in terms of her relationship with Gibbs, I think he’s really a mentor and a fatherly figure to her. She really looks up to him in a lot of ways, and wants to do good in his eyes.”

Some fans are taking a while to warm up to Bishop, but Wickersham is confident that she’ll win them over eventually. “I totally get it,” she says of viewers who are still struggling with the new dynamic. “I think it’s kind of a weird thing when a new person comes in, but in terms of how Ellie Bishop is, I think she just wants to do well and she’s very driven, and she’s excited just to be a part of the team. I hope the viewers will embrace that and appreciate that about her.”
Laying claim to the NCIS desk that someone else occupied for nearly 200 episodes — and on TV’s most watched drama, no less — was a “very big thing” for Emily Wickersham (The Sopranos, The Bridge). 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 crossed 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 up a poll asking readers for their first impression of Bishop. Seventy-eight percent either “love” or “like” her. Is that number pleasantly surprising for you?
EW: 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?
EW: 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?
EW: 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?
EW: 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?
EW: 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. 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.
EW: 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 there’s something really significant coming up after the holidays….
EW: 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 weaknesses and faults that’ll pop out.

TVLINE | As an NSA analyst, her field experience has been an issue. Has she ever, like, fired a gun?
EW: 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.
EW: 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.
EW: Exactly. I mean, she could just use the car as a weapon!

TVLINE | Lastly, what might viewers be surprised to know about NCIS‘ newest cast member?
EW: Well, unlike my character, I’m very nervous. I mean, I guess Ellie 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!

DiNozzos' second fish | TV Line

Curious minds want to know: NCIS‘ Tony recently mentioned having to care for a second goldfish. We know what he named his original fish. Are we safe to assume what he named his new one? –Cheryl

You would be safe, indeed! “If you’ve got Kate on one side of the bowl, it’s only logical who’s on the other side…,” show boss Gary Glasberg teases. “You can guess what the other goldfish’s name is.” Rhymes with… Viva?

11x13 "Double Back" press realease

IN THE AFTERMATH OF A DRONE ATTACK, THE NCIS TEAM DISCOVERS KEY EVIDENCE THAT LEADS THEM TO ONE OF PARSA’S COHORTS, ON “NCIS,” TUESDAY, JAN. 14

“Double Back” – In an effort to find the terrorist Parsa, Gibbs and the NCIS team track down one of his cohorts using evidence from the drone attack. Meanwhile, an emotionally shaken McGee struggles with the ramifications of the incident, on NCIS, Tuesday, Jan. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

CHEAT TWEET: Parsa strikes again! Will the #NCIS team be able to catch the elusive terrorist? Watch 1/14 8/7c

SERIES REGULARS
Mark Harmon (NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo)
David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard)
Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto)
Sean Murray (NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee)
Rocky Carroll (NCIS Director Leon Vance)
Brian Dietzen (Jimmy Palmer)
Emily Wickersham (NSA Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop)

GUEST CAST
Wendy Makkena (Dr. Rachel Cranston)
Margo Harshman (Delilah Fielding)
Alanna Ubach (NSA Senior Intelligence Analyst Sofia Martinez)
Ravi Kapoor (Bashir Malik)
Kovar McClure (NIS Special Agent Duke Turner)
Carlton Wilborn (Marine Master Sergeant Charles Garrett)
Jeff Galfer (CIA Case Officer Victor Hodge)
Monica Lawson (Nurse 1)

WRITTEN BY: Gina Lucita Monreal
DIRECTED BY: Tony Wharmby

Episode 250, the return of Tony Sr!

NCIS is plotting some love and heartache in the new year, kicking off with a potentially inappropriate love triangle and a life-changing near-death experience for one of the team members.

After losing Ziva, Tony (Michael Weatherly) will finally show some interest in another woman. Unfortunately, she's already dating his dad! In the CBS series' 250th episode, set to air in late February, Anthony DiNozzo Sr. (Robert Wagner) returns to introduce his son to his considerably younger lady friend. "This woman could potentially be Tony's new stepmom, and a big part of the story is her age and the awkwardness that brings to Tony," says executive producer Gary Glasberg. "Prior to meeting her, Tony tries to find out as much as he can about who she is." The alluring mystery woman could end up coming between the DiNozzo men.

Scoop on NCIS | TV Line

I was wondering if you could give me any scoop on NCIS, preferably on McGee or on the return of Susanna Thompson as Hollis Mann. –Ted

I choose… the pretty lady. Show boss Gary Glasberg told me that in addition to playing a “key role” in the Case of the Week when the CBS drama returns on Jan. 7, Ms. Mann also “has this huge back story, in some really terrific scenes with Mark Harmon/Gibbs.”

Any chance we’ll see Wendy Makkena’s character back on NCIS this season? –Mel

As a matter of fact, yes, Dr. Cranston’s services will be needed come Episode 14. But why…?

Scoop on NCIS | TV Line

Question: Any scoop yet on a McGee-centric episode of NCIS? –Barb

Ausiello: Let’s see if this qualifies: In the first episode back from the holiday break, titled “Kill Chain” and airing Jan. 7, McGee’s girlfriend “Delilah gets really involved in the case, and her and McGee’s relationship moves along a bit further,” show boss Gary Glasberg shares. Of actress Margo Harshman’s latest encore, he adds, “I’ve been thrilled to have her and we’ve got some exciting things planned for her and that relationship continuing this season. It feels real to us and we’re having a good time with it.”

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