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wikiDeeks Attends NCISLA PaleyFest!

Friday night I was lucky enough to represent wikiDeeks at the Paley Center for Media’s Paleyfest Fall TV Preview of NCIS: Los Angeles. PaleyFest is a two week festival where new and returning television shows are previewed, with each airing followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the show’s cast and creative team.

The Los Angeles Paley Center theater is tiny, holding 150 people, so it was a wonderfully intimate setting. I arrived early and scored a second row seat, right at eye level and only a few steps away from the cast seats. Sometimes there are huge benefits to being the only wikiDeeks staff member who lives in L.A.!

“Active Measures” Premieres

The event started with a request that the audience avoid sharing spoilers on the Season 7 premiere, so I shall do just that. I will say that I thought it a very strong episode, filled with lots of things I’ve been hoping to see from this show. There are many character-driven moments, with relatively little action, and I wouldn’t change the ratio at all. Of course, there are a few interesting developments I know we will all enjoy discussing and debating, but overall it’s a promising way to start the season.

Of course, the entire episode may play differently when watched at home on TV. There was something wonderful about watching the show on a movie screen, where every dramatic moment and every close-up felt, well, cinematic. It made me appreciate even more the wonderful direction, cinematography, and set design, which really did make me feel like I was watching a movie. And to share the jokes (there were many) with a theater full of other laughing people made it so much more fun. I kind of wish I could watch every episode in this kind of environment. I hope the cast was backstage early enough to hear the audience reactions, something I’m sure they would have enjoyed, seeing as usually the only audience feedback they experience is through social media.

Funnest Panel Ever

Then it was on to the cast panel, moderated by Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier. His questions definitely kept the discussion on the light side. What an animated group of people! Well, except for Miguel Ferrer and John Peter Kousakis, who both seemed a little uncomfortable in the spotlight. Barrett Foa and Renée Felice Smith showed off (ever so briefly) their dance moves. Eric Christian Olsen and Chris O’Donnell did their impressions of LL Cool J. Barrett demonstrated the little bounce step he uses when he walks away in a scene, and talked about his “5,6,7,8” mantra when he resets himself during filming. Daniela joked about having her next baby with Chris, and working her way through the cast. Even R. Scott Gemmill got in on the humor, telling Eric, “Even the Eskimos have 50 words for your hair.” Renee told a great story about solving a real life crime, leading to the tagline, “I Nell Jones’d that shit.” It’s truly a wonder that they ever get a single episode completed amidst such hilarity. If you haven’t watched it, go there now- there’s so much more, and it will be worth your time.

wikiDeeks Asks the “Deeks, M” Question

During the audience Q & A, I was able to ask Shane Brennan when we would get a “Deeks, M” backstory episode. I had debated whether to ask this or to ask something else directly of Eric, given Shane’s penchant for, shall we say, being creative with the facts when it comes to teasers. But when early on in the panel discussion, R. Scott Gemmill mentioned that there would be a “Granger, O.” episode later this year, I just had to ask. Interestingly, many in the cast (including Eric) didn’t seem to be aware that this episode naming convention was a pattern on the show. Shane said that, “Deeks, M. will be next season, Season 8… Next season is… a big Deeks season, there’s a lot happening for Deeks and Kensi next season… Internal Affairs is nothing compared to next season.” This was news to everyone, including Eric and Daniela. Now, do I believe it? Hard to say. Shane seemed to be making up his answer on the spot when someone asked if they would ever offer a walk-on role for an audience member, so he might have been doing the same thing here. At least we have a pretty clear promise that we can criticize later if it’s not kept.

No Time for Selfies

After a few more audience questions, they ended the session, and the crowd descended on the stage to try to get autographs and selfies with the cast. Most cast members disappeared very quickly, after only a minute or two. Chris O’Donnell stayed for a bit. Eric stayed by far the longest. I think he would have stayed until everyone got their selfie, but the security staff were anxious to get him off stage. Yours truly may have snagged some autographs for some new prizes for upcoming Pets of the Homeless charity drawings, so get your credit card ready!

It really was a lovely evening. What I enjoyed the most was seeing the genuine affection the entire cast and producers seem to have for one another. They are clearly a tight-knit bunch, despite the diversity of their ages and backgrounds. There was an actual sense of joy there that came through in the fun they were having together, and it made me appreciate them and the show all the more.

All photos by Karen P./wikiDeeks. Please give credit.

About Karen P (275 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

17 Comments on wikiDeeks Attends NCISLA PaleyFest!

  1. Thank you Karen, for sharing these wonderful pictures and giving us a taste of the camaraderie of this great cast. Wish I could have been there. I’m disappointed that we will have to wait for Season 8 for Deeks, M., but hopefully we will get at least a Deeks centric episode this year. I am quite excited about the season now….thank you for that.


  2. Thanks for the recap. It is great you got to experience it. Hopefully there was more Kensi and Deeks in the season premiere than in the season finale.


  3. I watched this online – saw you!! I loved it. I’ve seen a few of these Paley Panels with other shows and the difference was pretty obvious I thought. With almost all of the others I’ve seen I always feel like the “poor host” is doing their best to pull answers out of the people and somehow fill in the required hour (or whatever time). They ask, get a one or two word answer, and move on. It is sometimes painful. The cast occasionally will smile at each other or one or two will make a comment that another reacts to – but it is often really, really flat. This crew – who needed an interviewer – just turn them loose with each other and it was hilarious! It was really amazing. It seemed more like he had to “rein them in” rather than worry about asking another question. I got Brennan’s comments about “trying” to make television with this crew!!! I certainly hope he wasn’t kidding about a Season 8! It must have been so much fun. I noticed everyone had on their wedding rings (LL, Chris, Danni) except Mr. O. 🙂 I want one of the T-Shirts!


  4. Karen, Thank you sooooo much for the wondeful write-up and pics. I’ve been checking this site ever since I saw on social media that you (very lucky you) was there!!!! Awesome that you represented WikiDeeks. Although I was disappointed to hear that “Deeks, M” was not slated until season 8, I loved the whole feeling of family and joy amongst the entire cast. I loved all your insights, Karen….even without any spoilers, your comments make me sooooo psyched for season 7.

    And “Deeks, M” better be out of this world now that I hear, “Granger, O” gets his backstory first. The only niggling thought I have on this ratcheting up of Granger’s character … Is this with an eye on the potential of Hetty retiring?!? I hope not because I for one am still a steadfast Hetty fan…

    EEEEK, I can’t wait😄


  5. That was so much fun to watch and loved the crew’s reaction when Karen said where she was from. Dani’s was the loudest and Eric had the sexiest reaction! LOL! I had a chance to rewartch it again, and I saw Shane Brennan get a big smile on his face and start clapping when she said wikiDeeks. I hope that means he likes us and has read our features. That would be terrific!


  6. Thanks for this recap and the pictures you took. And thanks also for asking the question that’s been haunting our sleepless nights: when a Deeks M episode?
    Even if disappointed – as all of us I think – that we won’t get to see it this season, I was anyway glad that Shane Brennan was so confident there will be a season 8 and it will have pivotal Deeks and Kensi moments. I don’t know if he was “making up his answer on the spot” as you feared, Karen, but this gives me great hopes for the future and health of the show in general.


  7. Thank you so much for this write up and the pictures. It certainly was nice to see that the chemistry between the cast is real. I do appreciate you asked Shane Brennan for all of us when we would get our Deeks, M episode. Although, of course I was disappointed by his answer, especially since we are getting a Granger episode, it was good to have a concrete answer. At least we will not speculate and then continually be disappointed this season as each episode title is released. I do hope they deliver Deeks, M in season 8.


  8. I finally got the online Paleyfest episode to work and I loved it. What a great group of people. It truly felt like watching a family gathering. Karen, Dani’s reaction to you was awesome and ECO’s was super cute. Thanks again for all the pics and the write-up😄


  9. I watched this as well. I enjoyed it very much. There is geniune friendship and chemistry between the cast which makes it the reason it works so well. Sorry we have to wait for Season 8 for more of Deeks & Kensi but at least there is hope that there will be a Season 8 and sounds like there will be more of Deeks & Kensi is Season 7 anyway. Lucky you for attending!


  10. Thanks for the question. It looked like so much fun and I am more excited about the coming season from your review. I take Shane’s comments with a grain of salt. I just need to sit back, relax and enjoy as speculation about a Deeks, M episode does not sound like it is planned any time soon. I have my great fanfictuon for that from all you talented writers.


  11. Another thought, I thought that Danni’s comment about not a come back to Eric’s comments mirrored her character so she hits him interesting.


  12. Thanks everyone! One of the things I found interesting about the audience was that there were many (not all) fans there who seemed to only have a passing knowledge of the cast. For example, they didn’t know Barrett or Renée’s names, or were unfamiliar with the real life family ties between Daniela and Eric. I only wish that all of you could have been there to enjoy it with me- anyone who loves the show enough to visit our site would have enjoyed it as much as I did.


    • I agree, Karen. I had the same feeling about the audience. And you’re right, we fans would have enjoyed being there. Imagine the questions we could have come up with😉

      Hey, WikiDeeks should create a column that posts questions of Deeks, Kensi, the cast and writers. perhaps they would be inclined to periodically visit the site and respond.


  13. Hehehhehhe that was such a random thought that hit me as I read Karen’s comment.

    Ok, this may sound silly…I’m giggling as I write this. From Paley Fest, it was apparent that ECO and DR follow WikiDeeks. So, I was thinking of a “question posting column”…kinda like the classified ads back in the day? People used to post in the local paper i.e., “saw you walking the beach Sat. a.m. with parrot on shoulder..I was guy running with german shephard…call xxx-xxx-xxxx”.

    So, a column where readers can post questions…must relate to NCIS LA…and ECO, DR and anyone from the NCIS LA team can choose to answer any random comment/questions. I think ECO and DR may be inclined to pick a question and answer it. It would be nice to ask questions of Shane Brennan and the team of writers.

    That’s all I got😄😄😄


  14. Hi Karen –
    I’m very late with this, but it was nice meeting you at the Paley event. I’m glad you asked a question so I knew who you were – and there you were, only a few seats down from me in the 2nd row 😊


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