Retired Queen ()
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS | Looking beyond sweeps, the Dec. 10th episode, Devils Triad, presents the third incarnation of the relationship between Gibbs and Fornell and their ex-wife (played again by Melinda McGraw). The humor that exists when these characters get together is just a blast. Then on Dec. 17, the Christmas episode Homesick revolves around people stricken by virus connected to the military. It involves Abby, and she brings in the help of her lab tech friend Carol Wilson (played by Pauley Perrettes real-life BFF Meredith Eaton. They along with Palmer end up spending a bunch of time trying to get to the root of whats happening. And while Tony DiNozzo Sr. wont be home for the holidays this time around, Robert Wagner will pop back up as the patriarch in Episode 250, a milestone hour which is a big deal for us, Glasberg attests.

Question: Mike, Mike, Mike What can you tell me about NCISs 250th episode? Marsha
Ausiello: Marha, Marsha, Marsha I can tell you that someone from Gibbs past will resurface around the time of the CBS phenoms landmark episode. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Susanna Thompson is set to reprise her role as Jethros ex, Hollis Mann, this January. And, show boss Gary Glasberg, teases: She is coming back in an unexpected way.

, . , , , . ( ), , , .
, . , - 1995 . 19 , 2014 .

Kecks Exclusives: Get to Know the New NCIS Analyst

Im dying to know who this new NCIS female agent will end up with: Tony (Michael Weatherly) or Gibbs (Mark Harmon)? Leslie, Portland, Oregon

Try neither. Turns out, analyst Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham, who debuts Nov. 19) is happily married, and executive producer Gary Glasberg has no adulterous plans in the works. We will eventually meet her husband, who is an attorney with the NSA, says Glasberg, who may also introduce Ellies brothers. This is a very different relationship from anything weve had. Theres something interesting in this world when you have a spouse you cant tell everything to, and taking on the added responsibilities of this new job could come with consequences.

Though that may sound like the setup for a split, Glasberg describes Ellies relationship with Gibbs as a fatherly mentorship, while she and Tony will develop a sibling-like bond. Glasberg also plans to address the tragic 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that influenced Ellies desire to work with the NSA. The Nov. 19 episode will find Tony discussing dating for the first time since Zivas exit, and 2014 will likely see the eligible bachelor dipping back into the dating pool.

How Did NCISs Newest Recruit Celebrate Landing the Gig?

Emily Wickersham may be the newest series regular on one of the biggest shows on television, but youd never know it by how she celebrated getting the gig.

The rising star, who appeared on The Sopranos" and "The Bridge," before landing her role as Ellie Bishop on the CBS hit, NCIS, told omg! Insider" co-anchor Kevin Frazier during a visit to the set that she didnt exactly go running out to buy a fancy car or a million-dollar home when she learned the news that her three-episode arc had been upgraded to a full time series regular job.

"I was at home learning my lines," she said. "I did celebrate this past weekend. Im a homebody so I was at home, had a glass of wine, smiling."

The blond bombshell is replacing Cote de Pablo, who played the role of Ziva on the series from 2005 (season 3) until her departure this fall after two episodes (season 11). But, despite being a newbie on the set and filling the big shoes of a beloved character, Wickersham admitted she already feels like a part of the family. Its been wonderful, I feel so lucky to be here.

Check out this video to see the one thing you might not already know about Emily, and for more of the latest in entertainment news, tune in to omg! Insider on television tonight!

I heard that NCIS is going to do another spinoff. Any info, please? And are any of the current cast moving to it? Donald
As previously reported, the prospective offshoot is set in New Orleans and will be introduced via a spring 2014 episode of the mothership. As for its cast, Gary Glasberg who is exec-producing the planted pilot with NCIS frontman Mark Harmon says there will absolutely be opportunities for familiar faces to swing by NOLA. When I then passed along a readers suggestion that CGIS Agent Borin (played by Diane Neal) whom Gibbs recently sorta-offered a job be part of the spin-offs cast, Glasberg hedged, I havent quite put [the list of characters] together yet, but that is an interesting idea! Speaking of which.

Forget the character Bishop bring Diane Neal on as an NCIS regular! She has great chemistry with the cast. Please tell me we will see more of her character. Robin
When I, too, shared with show boss Gary Glasberg my enjoyment of Neals most recent visit, he joined in on the fanning. I really appreciate the fact that everyone responds so well to the guest stars that come in, and Diane Neal is more than that shes a part of this family, and we will continue to use her. To have her come back is super-important, and well continue to do that.

NCIS missing Cote de Pablo but welcoming Emily Wickersham

It took Michael Weatherly to finally explain his former co-star Cote de Pablos departure from NCIS.

BEVERLY HILLS, CAIt took Michael Weatherly to finally explain his former co-star Cote de Pablos departure from NCIS.

After eight seasons as special agent Ziva David, de Pablo announced last June she would not return to the series. CBS wanted her back. The producers wanted her back, but de Pablo stuck to her guns and walked away from TVs No. 1 drama. (It airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on Global.)

Ziva and Weatherlys character, senior special agent Anthony DiNozzo, had a long-running will-they, wont-they relationship on the show.

It was really with the arrival of Cote that I think something special happened there, Weatherly told a gathering of international press earlier this month. While it was never a love story, never rolling over and pillow talk, there was always a great deal of chemistry between the characters. He compared the big orange squad room on NCIS to the newsroom in the classic film His Girl Friday, with DiNozzo and Ziva having an intense love-hate connection like Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the movie.

That connection ended with de Pablos departure.

What happens next? Weatherly says his character is finally getting in touch with feelings he never knew he had. Kind of like you dont know what youre missing till its gone, he says. This leads to some soul searching and then, next Tuesday, on the Nov. 19 episode, the arrival of a new actress and a new love interest for DiNozzo: Emily Wickersham, who joins the cast full-time as NSA analyst Eleanor Ellie Bishop, a specialist in international terrorism and global preparation.

I think the audience is going to be extremely interested and rewarded, says Weatherly. The chemistry is magical.

Were thrilled to have her, Mark Harmon, who plays DiNozzos boss Leroy Jethro Gibbs, told the same reporters one day earlier. Were all intrigued and satisfied with the actress.

Still, Wickersham has some big shoes to fill. De Pablos arrival led to a sharp upturn in popularity for the series. As Harmon noted, she had been with the cast eight seasons. Thats high school and college.

There was the usual speculation at first that de Pablos departure was a negotiating ploy; that she was holding out for more money. All involved insist that thats not the case. The actress simply wanted a break from the series.

Its a very tough commitment, says Weatherly, who adds, Boo-hoo, go cry in a bag of money.

The New York native can never stay serious for too long. He quotes Oscar Wildes line, Life is too important to be taken seriously.

Weatherly suggested that de Pablo was simply at a different stage in her personal life than some of her more settled cast members, No weddings, no funerals, no birthdays, he said of the long hours and total commitment a 22-episode network TV drama demands. Youre just deployed.

While Weatherly and others seem to have their lives lined up for now, Cotes still figuring out the life part, he says. She just wanted a break.

He says hell miss her sense of humour on the set. She is cosmically funny, he says. We never really saw that side of Ziva because she was always kicking people in the face.

Weatherlys life became a lot more settled after he met his second wife, Bojana Jankovic, at a rock concert in Vancouver in 2009. The couple have two children, a 19-month old girl named Olivia and a baby boy named Liam, born just a few weeks ago.

Having two children under the age of 2 is like having 30, he says. Its like running a pre-school. Good thing I married a doctor.

The new boy only has eyes for his mom, says the 45-year-old actor. When youre not lactating, youre not interesting.

Weatherly is part of what his co-star, Pauley Perrette (forensic specialist Abby Sciuto), calls the Core Four of the series. She, Weatherly, Harmon and veteran actor David McCallum (chief medical examiner David Ducky Mallard) have been with the popular drama all 11 seasons.

Perrette told reporters she got the news de Pablo was leaving one morning when she woke up to several text messages from fellow cast members and producers. I thought somebody died, she said. She called Harmon first and got the news.

At the end of the day, not only can you not make decisions for other people, but often you cant understand theirs, says Perrette, who says she would not leave her dream job under any circumstances. Part of the problem with the rest of us being left or saddled with answering this question to other people is that its really not an answer.

Theres no cover-up, theres no drama, I guess it was just a life decision, says Perrette.

Weatherly says hes looking forward to his characters own lightning bolt moment on the series. Fans should not be surprised to see DiNozzo settling down. It may even be time as Weatherlys dad on the series, Robert Wagner, apparently suggested for some little DiNozzos. I think the dude is ready for some love, Weatherly says.

Asked what he thought de Pablo should do next, Weatherly, once again, went for the funny.

Id put her in a space suit: a very tight space suit, he says. Oh, oh, somebody just optioned that. We just sold, Sci-Fi Ziva.

Question: Was wondering if you got any scoop on a McGee-centric episode of NCIS this season. Barb
Ausiello: There is indeed some McGoodness on the horizon, though show boss Gary Glabserg at this time is mum on details. All hed tell us is, We always like to come back from the holidays doing something fun, and McGee will play a really big part in that.


Any new NCIS scoop? Whats in store for my favorite special agent DiNozzo? I love that the show still acknowledges Zivas absence and I hope it doesnt disappear completely as Im not ready to move on. Cheryl
It wont. 1) Michael Weatherly seems to be enjoying having so much to sink his teeth into. 2) EP Gary Glasberg says it wont. And 3) Nos. 1 and 2 are enough. Were letting the character continue on this natural path of dealing with the ups and downs of Zivas absence, says Glasberg. Those ups and downs will continue. Slowly but surely just as in the real world hes getting refocused and getting his life together. Hes figuring things out.

NCIS scoop! Where was Vance last week?! Terri
Dont worry, hes around. And look for him to have a huge storyline in a December episode that will [SCOOP!] guest-star BEN VEREEN as a relative of the late Jackie Vance. Vance and his kids have to get through the holidays with all the emotion that comes with it, and part of it is to introduce this character and the interaction that Vereens character will have with Vance, says Glasberg.

Any McGee scoop? I dont feel like hes gotten enough to do on NCIS lately. Jacinda
Hes going to play a really big part after the holidays, EP Gary Glasberg assures me. And Delilahs still around. Hes got his work cut out for him in some stuff coming up. And speaking of the holidays, you wont want to miss the Dec. 17 outing. Its a nail-biting hour that will find the team trying to crack the case of a strange outbreak occurring within military families. Its an Abby-centric story. So its Abby and Carol [Meredith Eaton] and Palmer really focused in the lab to try to focus on whats going on, Glasberg teases. Theres also a really, really loving story involving Vance, who is celebrating his first Christmas without his wife. Tissues, please!

Mark Harmon on NCIS: You change and you grow, or it kills you
By Alex Strachan, Postmedia News - November 4, 2013 11:52 AM

I dont think I could be doing this show after 11 years I dont think any of us could if we werent enjoying it, says Mark Harmon.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Life is a mystery, and that goes double for hit TV series.

Mark Harmon, looking laid-back, casual and relaxed on an uncharacteristically warm November morning in southern California, still cant wrap his head around the phenomenon that is NCIS, a police procedural that has lasted 11 seasons and is network televisions most-watched weekly drama even in Canada, where a thriller focusing on the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps would not seem to be tailor-made for an audience more inclined to watch NHL hockey and The Big Bang Theory. More than two million Canadians watched the Oct. 21 episode, making NCIS the third most-watched program in Canada that week.

Harmon still hasnt forgotten the early days Nov. 23, 2003, to be exact when NCIS couldnt get arrested, no pun intended, when ER, Law & Order, Without a Trace and Cold Case led the drama ratings charts. Cold Case bowed in the same week as NCIS, also on CBS, and for a while Cold Case was the more popular program by far.

Cold Case left quietly in 2010; NCIS is still there.

NCIS has become a ratings phenomenon in its own right. The idea that a TV drama any TV drama could be more popular in its 11th year than at any other time during its run isnt just unprecedented: Its unthinkable.

Harmon, soft-spoken to the point of being shy, is confident in his abilities and in the work of his colleagues. Hes been an executive producer, after all, since 2008, in addition to acting.

Even so, what happened and, more to the point, why remains a mystery to him, a mystery possibly not even his onscreen character Leroy Jethro Gibbs could solve.

Eleven seasons, 241 episodes. Whats that all about? Yes, People magazine once named Harmon the Sexiest Man Alive a source of acute embarrassment for him at the time but that was back in 1986, for heavens sake.

Whatevers going on, Harmon says, its not about him.

To continue anything, and do it well, for 11 years takes a lot of effort from a lot of people, he says quietly, after a long pause. Ive always thought this show looks easier to do than it is. And because of that you need to give a lot of people credit for it. Theres a large group of people who come to work every day on this show and do extraordinary work, and Im part of that.

I dont think I could be doing this show after 11 years I dont think any of us could if we werent enjoying it. Its a gift to be able to come to work every day and work with friends who are there to help and protect you. Oh, and by the way, its ratings are terrific thats a side note.

Theres a lot to be thankful for. Here we are in year 11, still pushing new storylines, still pushing character development. Nobodys bored. Theres nothing wrong with loving your job. I love my job.

Cote de Pablos sudden departure at the outset of the season, after playing Israeli agent Ziva David for eight years from 2005 to 2013, has been keenly felt, Harmon admits. All long-running shows must deal with change at some point in their lives, though.

We were all surprised by this, Harmon said quietly, measuring his words. Its not like we knew it was coming. We didnt. She was there for eight years. I mean, thats high school and college. In this business you spend more time with your cast than you do your family. It was a pleasure to have her for eight years and now its time to move on, and I think its important for this show to move on as much as it is for me to move on, and the cast to move on.

For me, this all happened back in June. Now were in November, nine shows in and moving forward. So far this year, our ratings are stronger than theyve ever been. This show, over 11 years, has had many changes. So at some point you just have to give credit to the people who run the show.

Harmon has played Gibbs for 11 years now Believe me, Im aware, he says dryly but he has yet to tire of the character.

Ive always been attracted to the underbelly of this character. Hes an odd guy, in many ways. Hes an uneasy guy, even when hes alone, by himself. And thats always fun for an actor to play.

After 11 years weve accumulated quite a backstory for all the characters. We have a whole ensemble of people whove returned from year four, year five, year seven. Its become like a big theatre company in a lot of ways.

Our writers are wonderful about taking the initiative to search and push and change. In fairness, I couldnt keep doing it if I didnt feel I was coming to a different dance every day I go to work. As long as it stays that way, its a nice thing.

As for NCISs continuing success, he says, I dont know that I know the answer to that any more than you do, and I dont know I can shed any more light on it.

I do know that, from the beginning, the show was pinned on these four characters, the original core group. Ive always looked on that as the hub of the wheel.

The beginning was a nightmare, Harmon admits.

The first day on the set, filming was 21 hours. The second day was 20 hours. And it didnt get better quickly.

We didnt have scripts. Youd come to work and theyd give you 10 pages of dialogue and say, Do this. You couldnt prepare, because there was nothing to prepare.

I always said we wouldnt be here if we didnt want to be here. We believed. You have to change and you have to grow or it kills you.

NCIS airs Tuesdays on Global and CBS at 8 ET/PT, 9 MT.
Postmedia News

@: , , /Leon Vance, /Diane Neal, season 11/ 11, Tony DiNozzo/ , Tim McGee/ , Pauley Perrette/ , NCIS NOLA, Michael Weatherly/ , Mark Harmon/ , Emily Wickersham/ , Eleanor Ellie Bishop/ ""