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'NCIS' ratings solid for Scott Bakula spin-off debut

CBS gave NCIS fans a first look at its Louisiana-based-based spin-off Tuesday night. The Nielsen ratings show a small rise — up 4 percent — for part 1 of the implanted spin-off, which stars Scott Bakula leading a new crew of crime solvers. That’s good news for CBS. (It’s always disheartening when ratings go down when previewing a backdoor pilot.) The network will almost certainly look at fan reaction and next week’s numbers before deciding whether to move forward with a full series order .(Let us know what you thought and see the results of our poll.)

Also Tuesday:

– NBC’s The Voice topped the night despite dipping 8 percent to a season low. There was some slippage from NBC’s new comedies, too: About a Boy fell 5 percent and Growing Up Fisher dipped 6 percent.

– Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine ended its first-season run growing 18 percent from last week. (Here’s our take on the first season’s highs and lows.)

– ABC had mostly repeats (and hasn’t pulled Mind Games from the schedule … yet).

– Fox’s Glee was even, while New Girl was down — what’s happened to this show? A couple seasons ago, New Girl was one of TV’s better-rated comedies.

– This is interesting: A repeat of The CW’s The 100 pilot delivered a 67 percent higher 18-49 rating than the network’s original Monday block of Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People.

Full chart:

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'NCIS' boss previews New Orleans spin-off, Ralph Waite tribute

Almost a year ago, NCIS executive producer Gary Glasberg was pitching storylines to star Mark Harmon when he brought up the idea that would spawn much more than the episode he was hoping to flesh out that day.

“I had learned that there was this small office in the city of New Orleans — a real NCIS office — that this sort of fantastic, larger-than-life character/agent ran for 25 years. It was just him and a couple of other people — and that was it,” Glasberg says. “And I wanted to do it as a sweeps episode, and then Mark said to me he thought there was more to it than that.” READ FULL STORY

'NCIS' season finale to address Ralph Waite's death

NCIS has plans to address the passing of TV legend and recurring cast member Ralph Waite, who died earlier this month at 85.

CBS confirmed Monday that executive producer Gary Glasberg and the writers will honor the memory of Waite — and his character Jackson Gibbs — in this year’s season finale, airing in May.

Waite, best known for his role as John Walton on The Waltons, passed away Feb. 13.

A guest appearance on NCIS in November was among the last TV appearances he made. He had recurred on the show since 2008, playing the father of Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Shortly after Waite’s passing, the cast and crew released a joint statement calling Waite “a tremendous talent and a very special man.”

Ralph Waite: 'NCIS,' 'Bones' casts honor late actor

Actor Ralph Waite died Thursday at the age of 85, and though he was best known for for his portrayal of stalwart father figure John Walton on The Waltons, which ran from 1971-81, in recent years, he had recurring roles on Bones, NCIS, and Days of Our Lives. And after news of Waite’s passing, cast and producers from those shows honored the actor. READ FULL STORY

Lucas Black joins cast of NCIS spin-off

Lucas Black is the newest actor to join the cast of the latest NCIS spin-off. Black, who starred in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Friday Night Lights, will play Special Agent Lasalle, a federal agent who is both a party boy and a hard worker. The new series takes place in New Orleans and is set to premiere this spring.

It was announced last week that TV vet Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Men of a Certain Age) will lead the NCIS: New Orleans cast.

'NCIS' preview: EP teases Parsa conclusion, season finale plans

After a brief break, NCIS returns on Tuesday night with the conclusion of an arc that has gotten very personal to the gang.

In the last string of episodes, we saw terrorist Benham Parsa fingered as the culprit who bombed a government-sponsored black-tie gala that left DOD agent (and NCIS friend) Delilah Fielding paralyzed and many others dead. And though the last new episode ended on a note that indicated NCIS had hit a wall in their investigation, in Tuesday’s episode, teases exec producer Gary Glasberg, we’ll see them band together for one final push to bring Parsa to justice. “It all comes to a head,” he says of the episode, which will reveal a connection between newbie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Parsa. “I’m really pleased with that episode. It’s action-packed, exciting, and fun.”

Also done is McGee’s (Sean Murray) struggles with guilt over the circumstances that led to Delilah’s injuries from the bombing, says Glasberg. “I think he’ll kind of come to terms with what it is, and it’s all about being supportive for her and helping her figure out what’s next,” he teases. Ultimately, he adds, it’s about getting the superstar defense expert “back to where she’s DOD Delilah.” But it won’t be easy — as in real life — and that’s why they wanted to tackle it, says Glasberg. “We’re an 8 o’clock television show, but I’d like to be able to tackle some of the complexities of what it means for people who are dating and who really care about each other to suddenly have something like that change in their relationship,” he says. READ FULL STORY

'NCIS' boss: Boston Marathon bombing survivors inspired new storyline

Tuesday night’s episode of NCIS introduced a storyline that’s going to see one of the characters — DOD employee Delilah Fielding — learning to live her life as a disabled person. On Wednesday, executive producer Gary Glasberg revealed that the arc was inspired by the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“I remember seeing a piece on I think it was the Today show about a bunch of women who had really managed to start to pull their lives back together again,” Glasberg told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. “I wanted to try to capture some of that on our show. So the intent was — and is — to show someone who comes from a government background involved in something tragic like this and manages to persevere.”

In the latest episode, which was the conclusion of a two-parter, it was revealed that McGee’s (Sean Murray) girlfriend Delilah (Margo Harshman), who had been severely injured in a bombing at a gala at the end of the previous episode, was now paralyzed. Subsequent episodes, said Glasberg, will show Delilah taking “control of her life and [rising] up after what she’s been through.”

“We’re very excited about the arc of what that character is going to face as someone in a wheelchair and how that’s going to be portrayed,” he said.

As for McGee, who was devastated by the news, “it’s a psychological challenge,” Glasberg said.
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'Scandal,' 'Arrow,' 'Mindy Project,' 'NCIS': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

A Gladiator teases his backstory, scoop on Arrow’s “Bericity,” and Mindy promises nudity — all that and more in this week’s Spoiler Room.

And if you’re not eating what we’re serving here, drop me a line with scoop requests at spoilerroom@ew.com.
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'NCIS' boss previews Emily Wickersham debut: Meet Ellie Bishop -- VIDEO

NSA analyst Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) is going to be the guiding light in an NCIS investigation in Tuesday night’s episode, but, as most fans have already heard, this is just the beginning of our journey with the character.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Wickersham, originally slated for an arc of episodes, was joining the show as a series regular, a move exec producer Gary Glasberg says he felt good making after seeing what the actress brought to the table. “Really what happened was Emily showed up and we gave her this script and this character and she really brought it to life,” he says. “She brought eccentricity and nuance and quirk and heart to a character that, until then, we had only been looking at on paper. Once we started to see and feel the chemistry with people on screen — and off, as well — we realized that we had something really special.”

Per the clip below, Bishop comes into the story after NCIS stumbles upon a paper she wrote that mimics a case they are working on. “Because she wrote the playbook, she becomes a valuable part of the investigation,” Glasberg teases. “So we keep her on for this case and by the end of the case, Gibbs senses something special in her.”

After the episode, Bishop will stay with the NSA for a period of time but her services will be utilized by NCIS. (“There are agencies who loan out their people all the time in one way or another,” says Glasberg.) “It’s a really organic, nice fit,” Glasberg says. “It’s really interesting when you see someone come in and they bring something new, different and fun. But everything we still love and enjoy about NCIS is there. It’s just a little different. It’s new and it’s fresh and that’s what got us excited.”

Check out a clip below.
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'Castle,' 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'Justified,' 'Supernatural,' 'Glee': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Does Castle have a plan of action? Who’s Justified‘s big bad this season? Is Supernatural getting a Psych visit? These questions and more are answered in this week’s Spoiler Room!

Send all follow-up Qs and scoop requests to spoilerroom@ew.com.
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'NCIS' scoop: Emily Wickersham upped to series regular

Emily Wickersham is joining NCIS full-time.

The actress, who was cast in the role of NSA analyst Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop back in September, has been promoted to a series regular, CBS announced today. Wickersham, who has also appeared on the Sopranos, was originally slated for three episodes but according to producers, her work with the team has proved a success.

“Emily Wickersham’s Ellie Bishop is proving to perfectly compliment the NCIS team,” said executive producer Gary Glasberg in a statement. “Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  Great things are planned for Bishop and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on-board.” READ FULL STORY

'Bones,' 'Arrow,' 'NCIS: LA,' 'Vampire Diaries': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Scoop on the Bones wedding (and honeymoon)! Fresh Arrow dish that hits the target! And some answers on how NCIS: LA will deal with a real-life baby twist. All that and more in this week’s Spoiler Room.

Enjoy. Consume. Be merry. And send all follow up questions to spoilerroom@ew.com! READ FULL STORY

'NCIS' boss previews team without Ziva: 'It's going to take time for our characters to move on'

Ziva has left the building. (Or, if you want to get technical, she never returned to the building.)

But even though we’ve seen the last of Cote de Pablo for the foreseeable future, there’s plenty of action to come on NCIS, according to executive producer Gary Glasberg. Part of it, he says, will be seen in tonight’s episode, which he’ll give you scoop on in our interview below, among many other things…
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