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A two-parter focusing on post-traumatic stress and featuring Jericho alum Brad Beyer during sweeps and another two-parter involving the Ziva character in January are among the highlights in the just started 10th season of CBS’s stalwart series NCIS.
And not to worry, exec producer Gary Glasberg told THR: “Mark Harmon is totally invested, in front of and behind the camera. Just spoke to him yesterday.”
The exec producer was at Mipcom to do a masterclass on what is one of the biggest U.S.-originated global hits, often airing in primetime in many of the 200 territories into which it’s been licensed by CBS Studios Intl. over the years.
“From the beginning when Shane (Brennan) went over to do (the spinoff) NCIS:LA, I hit it off with Mark. And I thought, if the show ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I sat back and watched. My intention was to take what’s working and go from there.”
Glasberg took over the seven-member writers room in 2009 and said he depends heavily on those who have been penning episodes since the beginning 10 years and 220-odd episodes ago. He does like to end seasons with cliffhangers and dangle “story cookies” at the beginning of each.
With an eclectic resume that includes showrunning everything from Power Rangers to The Mentali stand Bones, he told attendees at the session Tuesday that he is acutely aware of NCIS‘s unique global appeal.
“I really wanted to come to Cannes even though we’re in the midst of shooting. Being here I get a sense of how many people we touch and their perspective on the show.”
As for the reasons for its appeal to 23 million Stateside and countless others abroad, Glasberg suggested it wasn’t just about the crime. “We tend now to start with the characters’ stories, and there’s humor. Heart too.”
The format resonates, he suggested, because essentially it’s “comfort food.”
But no awards, no Emmys?
“Frustrating for the actors,” Glasberg said. “But 23 million viewers are their own reward.”
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