Now going on seven years strong, the cast of the hit CBS show NCIS talked to RadarOnline.com at PaleyFest in Los Angeles Monday night about the secret to their success, a possible girl power storyline, and their thoughts on NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles teaming up to kick some criminal butt.
“The hair!” joked Michael Weatherly of his Robert Pattinson-inspired locks, and his reason for the longevity of the show, which hit the CBS primetime lineup in 2003.
“His hair, maybe” agreed Mark Harmon, aka Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs who leads the NCIS team. “I think it’s usually been a talented group of people and I’m not just talking about people in front of the camera… I’ve been on a lot of sets and it’s a rare mix where professionals are asked to do their job and do it well and do what they do without looking over their shoulder and that’s what we do.”
“I think it’s the fact that it’s a prodecural, but there’s comedy in it,” said Cote de Pablo, who plays Mossad agent Ziva David. “I think there’s a little bit of everything in it for everyone that’s watching it, and I think there’s a dynamic between these characters that people really appreciate.”
But die-hard NCIS followers, don’t look for romance anytime soon between Special Agent DiNozzi (played by Weatherly) and Agent David — a seven-year storyline full of flirtatious tension fans have been able to cut with a knife — and what they tune in to watch each week in eager anticipation.
“I think the idea of unfulfilled sexual tension is good. I like to keep a little bit of mystery. But it is a blast working with Michael. You never know what’s going to come. He’s a ham,” said de Pablo.
A description that was definitely in full effect during PaleyFest, as Weatherly toted around a lifesized cardboard cut-out of co-star Pauley Perrette, who couldn’t make it to the panel discussion. But Weatherly’s co-stars took his loving gesture in stride.
“It’s Michael!” said Rocky Carroll, who plays the director of NCIS. “To say that his character is a stretch from [Agent] Tony, I’d be lying… we have a lot of fun on the show.”
Besides romance, other storylines that look more likely to make it on-screen include one that de Pablo has already pitched to executives and implores fans to get behind.
“We’ve pitched a lot of things and one of the big things we’d love to do is Pauley and I would love to do an Abby/Ziva undercover episode. That would be so much fun,” she said. “We’re crossing our fingers, we’re hoping it happens, we’ve pitched it to the writers a thousand times. They have it in the backburner and I hope they do it. Hopefully the fans will write in a say, ‘We want that episode!’”
Others hope for an NCIS showdown between the DC and Los Angeles agents (look out Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J!)
“It could happen,” Carroll said of a possible future episode. “What I’m hoping is that because I’m the director of NCIS on the show I’m hoping for another spinoff in a much more tropical setting say NCIS Bermuda.”
“I think we should have a paintball wars, but you could also have a really fierce game of checkers for the nerdier guys,” said Weatherly.
But you gotta go with what the boss wants — and Harmon agreed that ditching the DC snow for sunnier skies would be a welcome change.
“I just know that when they do NCIS Bermuda,” he said with a smile, “that’s the one me and the crew are going on.”
NCIS airs on CBS Tuesdays at 8 pm