Welcome back to In the Bullpen with Phillydi! These are exciting times for the NCIS franchise with a two episode preview in March of the latest spinoff series NCIS Red. I recall only four short years ago when NCIS (a JAG spinoff) gave birth to a new series, with new characters and a new location. Of course, that show would be christened NCIS Los Angeles and go on to become the second highest scripted show on television. So with the announcement of a new NCIS spinoff, I had to wonder what Shane Brennan’s creative objective was behind the new series. The first two shows are cash cows for the production company and CBS, so we can’t deny that money would be a good reason. But there is also a lot of pride that goes into creating these two stellar shows every week that I would like to think there is something more than just wanting to squeeze an extra buck out the franchise.
I believe the NCIS(LA) team of producers, writers, actors and crew work hard every week to bring to television a first class product and the viewing public has responded accordingly by crowning these two shows the top scripted dramas on the air today. Brennan’s company has the day to day production of these shows down to a fine science. Why not take this successful recipe to the next level and find another NCIS series that the audience might find just as exciting and entertaining? It’s been a winning combination so far and it can help renew and revitalize the franchise.
Yet here is always the danger of over saturation. Will we get tired of watching this kind of procedural crime solving genre? Some fans may find a favorite show out of the three and stick with it but like the CSI family before it, there is always an audience for top of the line television drama. And even though there is a shelf life to every show, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the NCIS family of shows will be around for a long time to come.
What’s unique about NCIS Red?
Apparently, this is a team without a home. This new group gets to roam the country as nomadic agents taking on assignments as they come. Without a place to hang their hat, will standard operating procedures change in the way they perform their job and work together as a team? I was surprised to read their missions would only be on American soil. I expected a mobile unit would be able to fly anywhere in the world at a moment notice which would be a really handy group to have around. But it’s still early and things could change.
The group now has faces and names and a cast of fine actors to go with it. There is Analyst Roy Quaid (John Corbett) who is the experienced veteran of the group. Kai Ash (Edwin Hodge) is the tech specialist in the unit who can do a little bit of everything. Dave (Scott Grimes) is the forensic specialist. I can’t wait to see his mobile lab! Special Agent Claire (Gilian Alexy) will give Kensi and Ziva a run for their money… and for the first time there is a female lead, Paris (Kim Raver) will head the team. Paris, who is a formidable team leader, is also a loner. Seems to come with the territory. Also, don’t forget Assistant Director Granger (Miguel Ferrer) will also bring his dry, acerbic humor to the new team. Let’s see how often he rains on their parade!
There is already news on the backdoor pilot in which Sam and Callen will team up with the NCIS Red in search of a suspected terrorist in Idaho. Although Callen will be checking Pairs out as a possible love interest (only mild flirtation for now we’re told), it seems there are still some embers smoldering from a previous relationship between Quad and Paris. I don’t know if I can take another angst filled relationship….but bring it on!
So what will make YOU watch another NCIS procedural drama?
Check all buttons that apply:
- Exciting and well written scripts ripped from current and real life events
- Writers, producers, actors and a first class technical crew who are the best in the business
- Stunts and live action scenes that go BOOM!
- A strong male lead (Gibbs) that makes us believe in his convictions no matter what
- Endearing characters such as Abby, Eric and Ducky who charm us, make us laugh/cry and want to hug them back
- Tough female agents (Kensi and Ziva) that take everything that life throws at them and come out stronger despite the adversity
- Complex and angsty characters like G. Callen yearning to uncover the secrets from his past
- A will they or won’t they love affair between the terribly complicated Densi
- A tiny but formidable team manager (Hetty) that makes you believe that anything in life is possible and always achievable!
If you are like me, you have checked off every one of those buttons. Just like the characters of NCIS and NCISLA, I want to believe in the new NCIS Red team and I want to care about them as human beings. I want to know what makes them tick and I want to become invested in the little moments that make their predecessors so remarkable. Give me characters that I love AND love to hate… and you will have me at hello!
There may be some growing pains in the first season as there was for both NCIS and NCISLA. As much as I liked Kate on NCIS I think the addition of Ziva has made the show much more interesting and exotic. On NCISLA it was obvious that Dom was a weak link in the first year but was brilliantly replaced by irrepressible Deeks who helped Kensi shine and become the kick ass Blye we have all come to know and love.
NCIS Red has a lot going for it coming from a royal lineage of great shows. But it has two hard acts to follow. It’s not going to be easy to live up to the high standards of the characters and storylines of the shows that came before it. But if anyone has a chance of striking pay dirt three times in a row, its Brennan and company. As long as he creates the best in quality television for the viewing public, then we have everything to look forward to and much to gain. Good luck NCIS Red! Your audience awaits!
So tell us what you think of NCIS Red? Will you watch the new show? What are you looking forward to (or not!) with this new group of characters? Leave your comments below….we want to know!
Follow our continuing coverage of NCIS Red at http://www.ncislamagazine.com/category/ncis-red/