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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category
Thursday, May 26 2016

A couple of Gary Glasberg interviews post Season Finale:

TvLine: NCIS Boss Talks DiNozzo’s ‘Enormously Significant’ Reason for Leaving, Ziva’s (Alive?) Fate and More Burning Qs

DeadLine: ‘NCIS’ Showrunner Gary Glasberg On A Future Without Michael Weatherly – And Whether Ziva Is Really Dead

And if you’re not following the NCIS official Instagram account you can read his comments during the episode here:

“From the moment the season finale begins, we wanted to set up that family, in whatever shape it comes in, takes priority over everything else. ‘Family First’ is the title of the episode as well as the under current in every scene.” EP Gary Glasberg

“A loss like this would be devastating to the whole team, but this family of agents, first and foremost, wants to be there for Tony as he receives the heartbreaking news. Something you should all know…RJ Wagner came to us months ago and genuinely believed Senior should be with DiNozzo when the news comes in. As his father and his friend, Senior needed to be there to support his son. RJ said he wouldn’t miss this for the world. The entire guest cast really brought their “A game”. Everyone acknowledged we were making something special.” EP Gary Glasberg

“This scene was a powder keg for Michael. We could see it in his eyes from the moment he stepped on set. He prepared for this scene differently than anything we’d seen before. We could see it in his emotional state, the way he looked at Ziva’s desk, and his body language. Michael wanted to experiment and try some things and we were all for it. Every member of the crew witnessed a shift that day in the Tony character. DiNozzo’s world had officially been rocked. Tony wants answers and he refuses to believe Ziva is dead. Who can blame him? He wants proof. We wanted to make sure all those emotions and uncertainties and questions were properly presented. I’ve watched this scene a hundred times now. It’s NCIS at its emotional best.” – EP Gary Glasberg

“Okay, so here’s the big one, folks. First, let me thank you all for going on his journey with us. We imagine you’re feeling a broad range of emotions right now. For months the writers have been discussing with me (and Michael) what would motivate Tony DiNozzo to leave his NCIS family? It would have to be something so powerful no one would disagree. It couldn’t be another job. It couldn’t be about money. I even struggled with it being for another relationship. Hours…days…we sat in the writers room talking. Being a field agent is dangerous. And if you’re suddenly a single parent, do you continue to take that risk every day? Or does having a child change everything? Based on all of our research, talking to actual federal agents and law enforcement officers, it certainly does change things. And now Tony would do anything for that little girl. Anything. The real question is why didn’t Ziva tell him sooner? Because, like Orli says, Ziva always wanted Tony to live HIS life. You all know Ziva as a fiercely independent character. We truly believe she was planning to introduce him to his daughter when the time was right. Should that frustrate and anger Tony? Of course it should. But he also knew Ziva well enough to understand. And, at the end of the day, look what she’s given him. A new sense of purpose. A new chapter. A new beginning. A new love. We knew it would take something enormous to make Tony put down his badge. Tali is that very special something.” – EP Gary Glasberg

“For months Joe Spano and I have been talking about trying something new and different. When people experience a severe trauma that leaves them injured and in need of rehab, they face some mammoth hurdles in the future. Often, injured characters on TV instantly recover. Fornell will have a more realistic road ahead of him. Spano is excited. I’m excited. Watch him in season 14. He’s a truly gifted actor.” – NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

“Tony finding the photo of he and Ziva in the go bag and showing it to Tali is one of my favorite scenes in the episode. This is where all the puzzle pieces really fit together. This is where Tony realizes how much Ziva truly cared for him and that she wanted him to be in Tali’s life. It’s also where Tony acknowledges (off screen after this revelation) to join his team and confront Kort. Go back and watch this scene again. It really covers a wide range of story and emotion. And how about the little girls that play Tali? Aren’t they great? (That’s right, folks…twins.)” – NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

“This couldn’t just be about Tony taking down Kort. The whole team is invested. The whole team needed justice. Kort reaches for his gun and they respond. They respond decisively as a group…as a family. Words aren’t necessary after that. The damage is done. Justice is bittersweet.”- NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

“Everyone came to watch this scene be filmed. Watch Mark Harmon’s brilliant decision to start to head slap Tony and then cradle his head in a warm embrace instead. Thirteen years as friends and co-workers. Good stuff.” – NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

“Now Tony makes his way through a series of goodbyes. First, a raw and very real emotional moment with Abby. Then a respectful and professional DiNozzo leaves his gun and badge with Director Vance. Vance’s appreciative glance says volumes. Then a warm exchange with Palmer and Ducky summing up years of professionalism and friendship. Finally, a special goodbye with McGee and Bishop. A passing of the baton to Tim. Now McGee is the ‘Very Special Agent’. And Tony and Bishop had become true friends. Oh — and take a look in that box Tony is carrying. Lots of fun stuff in there from a photo of Kate to other assorted NCIS momentos. And, with that, Tony is off to be with Tali…his family. The next chapter for Anthony DiNozzo Jr.” – NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

Finally, we leave you with some thoughts to consider over the summer as everyone rests, recovers, and recharges. We are eager to show you what NCIS has in store for season fourteen. Heck, we’ve got some great stuff headed your way. And that’s the truth. But here’s what I’d like to say before I go. We have no intention of trying to replace Tony…we can’t. He was and always will be a huge part of this show. All we can do is move forward, evolve,and continue on this amazing journey for seasons to come. We truly hope you enjoyed our finale. That said, before I go, I urge everyone to go back and watch again. Really watch and listen. Hear what’s being said. Pay attention. Tony Dinozzo is at peace. And he and Tali are moving on, searching for answers and happiness, just like the team has to move on as well. In Gibbs’ basement, Gibbs and Tony agree on something very important, “You gotta do what you gotta do. And you gotta believe what you gotta believe.” Thanks for believing.” – NCIS EP Gary Glasberg

Tuesday, September 15 2015

The way CBS’ NCIS left things, Leroy Jethro Gibbs was down, but he is not out. (Spoiler alert?)

That said, the man who just barely survives the shooting at the hands of a young terrorist recruit may not be the same one that we, Tony, Ducky et al have gotten to know so well over the years. With the Season 13 premiere fast approaching (on Tuesday, Sept. 22), TVLine presents the bulk of our Fall Preview Q&A with Gary Glasberg, the showrunenr behind TV’s most watched drama.

TVLINE | How do you pay off a cliffhanger that some might argue is a foregone conclusion?
You know better — on NCIS it’s never a foregone conclusion!

TVLINE | OK, but this is. [Laughs]
I’m not going to try to tell you that Gibbs isn’t coming back. Gibbs is coming back. But he goes through a really traumatic experience in this that changes him. We pick up right where we left off, and he’s rushed into surgery on an aircraft carrier, where we hook him up with a surgeon played by Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men). The whole first half of the show is this emotional roller coaster ride of Gibbs’ surgery and with this new character. Stop the BleedingI was a huge M*A*S*H fan when I was a kid, and I think there are many similarities humorwise in the type of work that we do on NCIS, so I really wanted to create this homage to the kind of writing that was done on that show, with Jon’s character — and Jon really delivers. At the end of it, he and Gibbs have established this doctor/patient bond, and in Gibbs going through this we’re going to see a more emotionally accessible Gibbs. We’re going to see some changes in Gibbs that are going to throw people a little bit. [Mark] Harmon is really doing some fantastic work right now in just little subtle nuances and changes. Physically you’re going to see changes. Emotionally you’re going to see changes. Things that you wouldn’t normally associate with Leroy Jethro Gibbs are going to happen.

TVLINE | I was going to ask: What were Mark Harmon’s hopes and wishes for the storyline?
My goal 13 seasons into a show is to give him something fresh and different and new to work with. By going through this sort of life-altering moment, it changes Gibbs’ perspective on the world. You have this very old-school view of what his job is and what being a federal agent is about, and then you end up getting shot and seriously injured by a 12-, 13-year-old kid. That in our mind changes everything.

Link to Full Article

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Saturday, May 23 2015

Are we to believe that Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is dead? “NCIS” wrapped up Season 12 on Tuesday night with the shooting of Gibbs in a marketplace in Iraq. First he was shot in the leg by one of the young American men recruited to be terrorists by The Calling, so it didn’t look too serious. But then, he took a second shot to the body, which could be fatal.

The shooter was Luke (Daniel Zolghadri), the teen who had stayed at Gibbs’ home after The Calling killed both of his parents. And it seemed as if the two were making a connection. The one person who questioned Luke’s motives was Joanna (Mimi Rogers), the late agent Ned Dornegett’s (Matt Jones) mother, who cautioned Gibbs that Luke was playing him. Boy was she ever right!

“The whole idea of this storyline is that Gibbs and the team find the fact that children are being used in these attacks very unsettling,” executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg told FOX411 in a conversation following the airing of the finale. “It changes everything that he has focused on over the years and worked towards — trusting women and children first. Then in this instance, he doesn’t know who to trust. This is difficult for him. He wants to help this boy but at the end of the day, this young man ends up being troubled to the extent that it backfires on him.”

It was obvious that Gibbs was very disturbed about the case, so much so that he began seeing dead people when Dornegett’s body arrived in Washington, D.C. On the tarmac when the body was being unloaded, Gibbs saw the ghosts of Kate (Sasha Alexander), Jenny (Lauren Holly), and Mike Franks (Muse Watkins), the latter returning for the finale.

“The incarnation of Mike is very much as Gibbbs’ conscience,” Glasberg says. “That is really what he is doing here. He is saying to Gibbs, ‘The world has changed. The landscape has changed. How much longer can you keep doing this? How much longer can you figure out who’s good and who’s bad, who’s right and who’s wrong?’ With every year that goes by, Gibbs is losing agents. In a post-9/11 world, it keeps changing and it is taking its toll. In essence, Mike is Gibbs’ own thoughts, and Gibbs looking at himself and saying, ‘Can I keep doing this?'”

In addition to the “Peter Pan” aspect of the story with episodes being named “The Lost Boys” and “Neverland,” there is also a touch of “Oliver Twist,” with The Calling leader Daniel Budd (Giles Matthey) being a bit like Fagin in his design. But the reality of the story is actually scarier, according to Glasberg, as the idea for this arc came from real-life news stories broadcasting that terrorist organizations are recruiting on the Internet.

It will be the first episode of Season 13 this fall until we find out whether or not Gibbs survives, but what Glasberg did reveal is that since DiNozzo was in contact with Daniel — the two were on the phone when the attack on Gibbs’ took place, “he will take the lead on that aspect of the case and we will see Tony DiNozzo in action. As the rest progresses, the rest of the team will work together as they do as a family and take on The Calling.”

So what’s up next on “NCIS”? We asked Glasberg for a few hints.

FOX411: What can you tease about the first episode when we come back?

Glasberg: We will pick up right where we left off for the season opener. We will wrap that storyline up early on. As I have done historically, I will probably get into six or seven episodes of more traditional storytelling and into the background of our characters and whatnot, and then figure out what’s next and launch something significant. As you know, I like to surprise people a little. As we get closer to November, we will pull the rug out from under people and try something different.

FOX411: This will be at least a 4-episode arc by the time we return next season to find out if Gibbs survives or not. “NCIS” has pretty much been episodic. Why the continuing story?

Glasberg: We are not serializing per se over the entire season, but the opportunity to take these characters that we connect with and that we feel strongly about and let people go on a little voyage with them over three or four episodes is fun. It gives the writers new opportunity, but we will continue to solve crimes episodically and do the traditional episodes that people look forward to. This was just an opportunity to do something a little different. We will probably do some more of it in the future as well.

FOX411: So what’s with the leads of both “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans” getting shot? Does what is happening on other shows affect you? Is that the temperature of TV that there has to be more danger for the leading characters?

Glasberg: No. This was a very conscious decision. Last season, we didn’t have a cliffhanger. This season I wanted to do something more significant. It was really a decision to do something big and significant with both characters and do some action. Then, we will reset at the beginning of next season. Just raising the stakes a bit. It is not so much what other people are doing or what the climate of TV is. It’s just taking it to a different place.

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Monday, April 27 2015

Emily Wickersham opens our interview with a playful, clandestine whisper: “Jake and Gibbs are having a secret relationship.”

Jake (played by guest star Jamie Bamber), of course, is the husband of Wickersham’s NCIS character, probationary Special Agent Ellie Bishop. Gibbs, her boss. And Wickersham is teasing the “light runner,” as they say, in this Tuesday’s episode (CBS, 8/7c), which launches a three-part season-ending salvo.

Regarding the aforementioned bromance of sorts, which comes to light this week, the actress says, “I don’t know if Ellie knows the extent of it, but the team is very surprised, because it’s an unlikely duo.” And while mum on the exact nature of the connection, she dismisses our suggestion that they’re meeting up for mini-golf and brewskis. “I think they’re talking about more important things that no one is allowed to know about,” she teases. “It’s all very interesting….”

That mini-mystery, fascinating DiNozzo and the others as it does, is perhaps a rare bit of lightness amidst Season 12’s intense final three hours. Here, Wickersham previews the high-stakes case the NCIS team is about to tackle, the casualty it will claim, and more.

TVLINE | This week’s episode, “Troll,” kicks off a big season-ending storyline….
Yeah. Ned Dorneget — played by the wonderful Matt Jones, who I worked with for the first time — is assisting the team when an ensign who worked in Naval Intelligence is murdered. We find out that the murder is connected to an international terrorist group that is recruiting children through the Internet. So basically, through the last three episodes, we’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on.NCIS Finale Death Spoilers

TVLINE | Is there ultimately some sort of terrorist event NCIS is scrambling to thwart?
Oh yeah, a big event that I obviously can’t talk about. But these episodes bring up important things about the Internet and how accessible it is to everyone, children in particular. The Internet is a wonderful place but it has the potential to be a very scary place as well. You don’t know who your kids are talking to….

TVLINE | No, one of my 12-year-olds has an Instagram account with 17,000 followers, so I make sure to keep an eye on things.
It’s crazy, yeah. I just feel like you never know who’s behind the accounts or whatever. It’s scary. It’s scary.

TVLINE | What can you reveal about the “significant loss” that [showrunner] Gary Glasberg told me about?
Ohh, I know…. The significant loss is someone who everyone loves, I think, and it will be a very sad, shocking thing — but, at the same time, it becomes a motivator for the team, to kind of figure things out….

Link to full Interview

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Tuesday, February 3 2015

Gary Glasberg talks with THR about what Gibbs has planned for the man who murdered his ex-wife.

Showrunner Gary Glasberg told The Hollywood Reporter that things are set to get “intense” on the CBS procedural in the next few episodes, as Gibbs tracks down Sergei (Alex Veadov), the terrorist who killed Gibbs’ ex-wife Diane (Melinda McGraw).

Glasberg also explained why he was proud of the direction the show takes in this week’s episode, whether the frequently marrying Gibbs will be falling in love again soon and if he worries about the procedural genre getting oversaturated by competition.

This week’s episode involves the investigation into a Marine’s death. What can you tell us about it?

It’s an episode I’m super proud of. It touches on a subject matter that intrigued me from the get-go that is, an openly gay, married Marine, is killed, and he was recently nominated for a medal of honor. And the investigation into his death takes us down the road of, was it a hate crime? Was it related to his homosexuality? It sort of takes us on a twisty-turny road of the reason behind his murder. We tend not to do a tremendous amount of episodes that take on subjects like this, but once in a while, when it’s this important and means a lot to us, we do it, and I’m just genuinely proud of how it came out.

Gibbs has been on an emotional journey of late. What’s next for him?

Right after the holidays, we surprised everyone. We’ve had an ongoing storyline with a terrorist named Sergei, and Sergei ended up killing one of [Gibbs’] ex-wives [Diane], who he’s very close to, and it’s connected to Joe Spano’s character Fornell as well. In her passing, Gibbs has been and will continue to be really tortured over how it unfolded, and then that will all come to a head in the Feb. 17 episode of the show called “Cabin Fever,” where Gibbs ends up spending some time with Fornell, trying to help him through his grief, and at the same time, handling a manhunt to take down Sergei. It’s a big episode for us that I actually just finished editing, and I’m really pleased with it.

Fans seem to be enjoying Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Zoe’s (Marisol Nichols) budding romance. Where is that heading?

It’s been a terrific journey for Tony. After Ziva (Cote de Pablo) left, and he was grief-stricken and upset and miserable [with] the way things unfolded, we really watched him work through the situation, and then he’s come out the other side a more mature Tony DiNozzo. In the process of that, he met this former old flame in Zoe Keats, and he’s having fun. It’s fun for us to write it; it’s fun for Michael to act it. The character is enjoying himself. It doesn’t mean they’re going to get married; it doesn’t mean this is the one forever. It’s nice to see him in a relationship like this, and it will continue to weave through the rest of the season.

We finally got to see [Gibbs’ ex] Rebecca, played by Jeri Ryan. What was it like to have her on set, and will Rebecca return?

It was great to have her, and they have terrific chemistry. We just had a lot of fun. I don’t have anything planned in the immediate future, but I’m sure we’ll see her again. What I liked about what Jeri brought to that wife’s character is, every one of [Gibbs’ ex-wives] has been very different. Each one has a different personality, and you imagine where Gibbs was in his life at the time when he hooked up with them. And it gives us some more insight into Gibbs and into different phases of his life.

Is another romance in Gibbs’ future?

You never know. We talk about it, and I’m always open to the idea, and I’m open to the idea of finding someone for him. But by nature, Gibbs tends to be someone who spends a lot of time alone, and it’s the brooding nature of who he is. He has to be in a certain mindset to feel like he needs companionship, and you’re finding yourself saying, “Is this the time?” And very often, he’s so focused on work that it’s not meant to be.

What’s on the horizon for the second half of the season? It sounds like Sergei will be the focus for the near future?

[We’re] focused on the Sergei story through February — a very intense, terrific episode that comes to a head for that. Then probably some stand-alone episodes that will carry us through March and April — some terrific stuff that we’re working on right now. And then we’ll start to build toward our finale, and that’s literally something that I’m locking myself away [for] right now and starting to put together.

Congrats on your success with NCIS: New Orleans. What are the biggest challenges with executive-producing two series?

[Laughs.] It’s really about staying organized and staying ahead of it. And I couldn’t do it without all the people who have been helping me make it happen … I’ve been very, very lucky in that respect. I feel like we’re making it work — we’re turning out good product, and making good shows, and they’re entertaining, and people seem happy, and that’s more than I could ask for.

Is it ever a struggle to keep a show fresh after so many seasons?

On NCIS, as we wrap up season 12 and move into season 13, I’ve always said that the one thing I look for is, when I come back from hiatus, and we’re starting a new season, and you sit down with the writers in the writer room, are the ideas going to be flowing? To the credit of all of the writers that I work with, I’ve yet to experience a return to writing where they aren’t just bubbling over with enthusiasm and ideas, things they’ve come across. I feel like, when the day comes that those ideas are slower in coming, then we’ll know that we have to start to think a little differently. But everybody’s still running on all cylinders, and the enthusiasm and excitement are there. It’s really a treat.

What are your thoughts on the current state of procedurals as a genre? Do you worry about there being too many similar shows on the various networks?

I’m not a believer that there’s a finite world of mystery. I’ve been a colossal mystery fan for a very long time, going back to Columbo and McMillan & Wife and the shows that I grew up on. Do I think that the genre has a sort of limit to it? No, I really don’t. I think it will continue to evolve. I think that there are times when you are doing a crime story where you can have humor, and there are times when it’s straighter and darker. I’m excited by where [the genre] is, and I’m excited by the amount of television that’s out there, and stuff on cable and stuff on network. It’s a terrific time to be in TV.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Monday, January 12 2015

Exactly a year-and-a-half after the news first broke that she and NCIS were parting ways, Cote de Pablo has answered many burning questions about Ziva’s “rushed” exit storyline, the “outpouring of love” she felt from fans and whether she’d ever return to the CBS drama she called home for eight years.

Following her appearance at the Television Critics Association winter press tour — where she was promoting the upcoming CBS mini The Dovekeepers — de Pablo said that after her break from NCIS, “I took a couple of months off, and my entire family came over which was really great. They knew that it was a tough transition for me, and within three-and-a-half months I had an offer,” for the Chilean miner biopic The 33.

“For the most part I have had incredible opportunities knock on my door — I have read them, I have been not quite interested,” she said. But The 33 afforded her both an opportunity to return “home” to Chile and work with “incredible people” including Juliette Binoche, Antonio Banderas and Gabriel Byrne. “I thought, ‘My god am I ready for this?’” de Pablo relates. “And I was ready.”

Invited by TVLine to reflect on and assess her NCIS exit storyline, which was folded into the first two episodes of Season 11, de Pablo admitted, “I think it was rushed. I would have liked a little bit of closure. But I think all in all I could not be more blessed, because I got a chance to be with my ‘love,’ Michael [Weatherly, who plays Tony]. Any time you put Michael and I together there’s going to be a spark, and there’s going to be real honesty, and for that I am forever grateful. Because in that sense there was a sense of conclusion as far as what [the characters] felt for each other.”

As such, and given that she got much-needed personal time, de Pablo attests that she has “no second thoughts” about ending her NCIS run. “I’m very happy with my choices. I spent time with family, which was incredibly important for me. I’ve had time to deal with me, which I couldn’t really do for a long time, so I’m blessed for that.”

Of course, a chunk of the NCIS fanbase reacted strongly to losing de Pablo and Ziva, with an “ouptouring of love” she says was “humbling.”

“When you make decisions like this, you never expect for people to fully understand,” she added. “So it was really delicious to feel that kind of love and I’m always grateful for that.”

So, might she one day reprise her role as Ziva, even on a one-off basis? “I think the fact that they never killed the character off is very telling,” de Pablo noted with a smile. “Under the right circumstances, I think it could definitely be explored.”

As for locking into another series regular TV role, de Pablo let out a hearty laugh before telling TVLine, “I’m not sure if I’m ready to sign a 6- or 7- or 8-year deal. I did a long run [on NCIS] and it was remarkable and I learned a lot.” That said, she’s game “if it was the right story. If we could keep up telling a really good story, that’s the most important thing if you’re an actor.”

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Tuesday, December 16 2014

Rule No. 8: “Never take anything for granted.”

CBS’ NCIS takes that to heart tonight at 8/7c, with a Christmas episode that reflects on one of the long-running drama’s recurring themes: Gibbs’ Rules.

“I wanted for a while to do an episode about Gibbs’ rules,” showrunner Gary Glasberg tells TVLine, “and Chris Waild, one of my writer-producers, had the clever idea of incorporating it into our Christmas show.”

The framing device, per Glasberg: “McGee (played by Sean Murray) is writing a letter to his father, sitting at the great, old typewriter that he writes his books on, sort of narrating” his account of a case the team worked during the holidays, involving hackers.

“It’s a really timely case,” given the myriad Sony Hack documents continuously being released into the real world, Glasberg notes. “And it brings back a number of characters” — Former NCIS Systems Administrator Kevin Hussein (played by Ethan Rains), Heidi Partridge (Erin Allin O’Reilly) and Ajay Khan (Chuck‘s Vik Sahay) — “who are computer-focused villains of the past,” to help tackle the crisis.

As McGee shares with his father the assorted rules, many are punctuated by accompanying flashbacks of characters both present and past receiving or recounting Gibbs’ wisdom. “We used stuff all the way back to Season 2, I think,” Glasberg says. “It’s amazing to go back and collect all these different clips, of everybody from Sasha [Alexander, as Special Agent Kate Todd] to Cote [de Pablo, as Ziva] to Michael [Weatherly, who plays DiNozzo] referring to the rules.

Such blasts from the past coupled with McGee’s heartfelt missive to his father made for “a really emotional, terrific episode,” Glasberg adds. “It’s like a little Christmas present for everybody.”

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