EXCLUSIVE: CBS is looking to further expand its lucrative NCIS franchise. I’ve learned that the network is working on a planted NCIS spinoff series, which will be introduced in a two-part NCIS episode slated to shoot in February and air in the spring. Set in New Orleans, the potential spinoff is executive produced by NCIS star/executive producer Mark Harmon and executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg. The character-driven project, written by Glasberg and produced by CBS Studios, centers on the the NCIS New Orleans office which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans was picked as a backdrop for the show because of its pedigree of a rich setting of music, fun and debauchery that makes it a magnet for military personnel on-leave. And with fun comes trouble. This would mark the second spinoff from veteran NCIS, which also spawned hit NCIS: Los Angeles. The LL Cool J-Chris O’Donnell starrer also started off as a backdoor pilot, airing as a two-part episode of NCIS. In expanding the NCIS franchise, CBS and CBS Studios are taking a page from their CSI playbook by setting every new series in a new town (Las Vegas, Miami and New York for CSI; Washington, Los Angeles and New Orleans for NCIS). With NCIS and NCIS: LA showing no signs of slowing down, CBS may very well have three NCIS series on the air next season, just like it did with the CSI franchise for almost a decade. Season 11 of NCIS kicks off tomorrow night. Glasberg is repped by CAA, Harmon by Paradigm.
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