Pilot: “NCIS: New Orleans”

IMG_0306.JPGThe spin-off only exists to branch out an existing series and allow a network to claim status as a great television network. There can’t simply be one long running series for a network to claim credit for, but two or three or even four, it really depends on how far back in history you go.

The new series “NCIS: New Orleans”, is yet another police procedural spun off of a spin-off, that has another spin-off, that tried to have a spin-off, and is the third spin-off attempted, overall. Oy! My head. Let’s stop using the word spin-off. I may need to see someone after this.

This drama series stars Scott Bakula (“Looking”, upcoming “Elsa & Fred”), Lucas Black (“42”, “Promised Land”), Zoe McLellan (“Back to LA”, “One Fall”), Rob Kerkovich (“Chasing Life”, “House of Lies”), and CCH Pounder (“Sons of Anarchy”, “Warehouse 13”).

The series was created by Gary Glasberg (“NCIS”, “The Mentalist”).

The series premiered on CBS on Sept. 23, 2014.

If you’ve seen any of the “NCIS” shows or just happen to know what the real NCIS does, then you’ll know this is more or less a police procedural. It also means, you’re ahead of many others.

With that in mind, you can’t really fault this show for being a police procedural, with the only two differences being location and cast. If you do, then it would make one wonder, why are you watching this show at all?

As I said, cast and location. I think it’s great that Glasberg picked New Orleans for this series. It’s not simply because it’s as exotic as you come, when you think about the United States, but because, as I’ve heard in interviews or read, it’s the area the real NCIS operates out of and covers a specific area of the south too. Sounds more logical and practical than mobile teams, which is what the idea was for a previous failed spin-off “NCIS: Red”. With New Orleans, and other surrounding areas, the location, there’s plenty to see and experience that will set this show apart from it’s predecessors. I’m excited to see how this show showcases the area, whether they actually shoot in the area or not.

The characters are the next interesting aspect. While this may not be technically the pilot, as there was a two part “back door pilot” during “NCIS”s previous season, this is just another episode moving forward. But, the good part is, even if you missed those episodes, as you probably don’t watch the show, you still can just join in as if this were the pilot. The characters still seem to be getting to know each other, especially McLellan’s as she’s a transplant. There’s also so many different quirks and things to find interesting about the team. Pounder’s character certainly seems to have a pretty fun and positive attitude as well as a sense of humor. Black just seems like a goofball and likes to have fun, but can still be serious. Bakula, I’m not sure yet. But that’s what I can see as being fun for this show! What is it that makes these people them, beyond their career choices?

While, of course, there’s the case of the week, there’s got to be more to help make it something else. I’m assuming, as it already appears to be borrowing from the other “NCIS” models, that there will be bigger mystery story arcs and interesting bad guys. Plus, as the show progresses, if it does, guest stars and characters.

The one thing this show will need to make sure it doesn’t do, is too many crossovers. I feel it was okay to include David McCallum (Ducky on the first “NCIS”), as he appeared very briefly. But if this series starts bringing in other characters a lot, before it establishes itself, I may grow tired and stop watching.

For me, as I don’t have an “NCIS” to call my own, at least in my family, this could be it. It’s got a similar and simple formula, plus humor, which you’d come to expect from this type of show. I feel it’s ultimately going to depend on the types of stories told, when it comes to thinking if this show is worth watching or not. However, with a lead out of “NCIS”, this show should be able to keep a pretty big audience for quite enough time. Guess CBS has, yet again, another successful spin-off on its schedule. What’s that make now, five? Oh, and there’s one upcoming spin-off too. Oy! Again.

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