Pre-action field report.
With the premiere quickly approaching (actually, a little faster than originally thought), it is time to do an Ops-like briefing for what season eight may bring. Since Eric and Nell aren’t available, allow me.
How the Cast Spent Their Summer Vacation:
Chris O’Donnell had some fun in the sun:
As always, LL Cool J was on tour:
Family was news for the “Team In-Laws” as Eric Christen Olsen and wife Sarah Wright-Olsen welcomed a daughter:
And Daniela Ruah also had an addition to her family:
The two actors also visited Comic-Con with a group of CBS stars:
And did the #22PushupChallenge:
Barrett Foa starred a one-man show:
Renee Felice Smith was in front of the camera and behind the scenes of the making of an independent film:
Miguel Ferrer returned to Twin Peaks:
Linda Hunt was in Renee Felice Smith’s movie (a rare Linda Hunt summer sighting!):
Back to Work:
Back to work and off to a new night. CBS has moved the program to Sundays at 8PM or 8:30PM ET. During American football season, the program’s start time may vary due to late running games in different parts of the country. As a fan of several CBS Sunday series over the years, I can recommend the @CBS, @CBSTweets, @Soundbyte53 and @NCISLA twitter accounts for any notice about the program being delayed in the eastern and central time zones. This was a typical tweet from last season:
Season 8 begins without either Shane Brennan or Dave Kalstein. Both are off to find new projects after a long run with the series. Longtime executive producer R. Scott Gemmill takes over for Brennan. Gemmill has been with the program from the beginning, having written the second ever episode, “The Only Easy Day” back in 2009 and writing or co-writing 32 other episodes in seven seasons.
While Daniela Ruah is expecting a baby, Kensi Blye is not. As with Season 5, the program plans on Kensi appearing in every episode while Daniela Ruah is on maternity leave (rumored to be episodes three to ten). So while production for the first episode began on July 19th, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen and several other series regulars shot scenes between July 8th and the 18th. Those scenes will be edited into the maternity leave episodes. Whatever you may think of Season 5, they did a wonderful job of incorporating Kensi in all episodes during Daniela Ruah’s maternity leave. “Allegiance” is so impressive when you realize the Afghanistan scenes were shot in October and the Los Angeles scenes were shot just after Thanksgiving.
Plans for the Fall:
Rick Tunell’s always helpful shooting calendar on Twitter has a list of familiar series directors – Terrence O’Hara, James Hanlon, Tawnia McKiernan, Dennis Smith and Diana Valentine are all on the deck for early Season 8 while John Peter Kousakis shot the scenes to be used during Daniela Ruah’s maternity leave. Music video director Benny Boom is directing an episode. He has worked with LL Cool J in the past.
A CBS press release about the two-hour season premiere reveals that the Department of Defense is investigating the entire OSP staff to find the mole while the team searches for a high value target in Syria.
Preview articles about Season 8 mentioned a resignation and a seriously injured team member while LL Cool J mentioned a death. Resignations have meant little over the years – Hetty resigns regularly, Callen, Sam and Kensi resigned in Season 2 and Deeks would have if he could. All are still with NCIS’s OSP. The seriously injured team member would probably be more of a surprise if one team member didn’t need a few weeks off to have a baby in real life. As for the death – hopefully LL Cool J is just teasing or the unfortunate end is someone random like previous mole Carl Brown.
Speaking of previous mole Carl Brown, Adam Bartley has announced he’s returning to the program as Carl. Laura Harring tweeted a photo with Daniela Ruah announcing the return of Julia Feldman. Eric Christian Olsen mentioned wanting to work again with Pamela Reed.
As for Kensi and Deeks, well, let Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen explain:
Very excited for Season 8. Season 7 wrapped up a number of long (Deeks and the IA investigation), longer (Sam versus Tahir Khaled) and the series’ longest storyline (Callen’s background) with strong episodes. With these storylines wrapped up, there is still the mole to uncover, Callen reconnecting with his father, Granger connecting with Jennifer, the hopefully happy future for Kensi and Deeks, a future for the revealed in the season finale Eric and Nell relationship and Sam being Sam – all under the watchful eye of Hetty.
Is it September 24th yet? When it is – CBS has an NFL doubleheader that night so I will note in the comments when the exact start time will be in the eastern and central Time Zones.
The good people here at wikiDeeks are once again allowing me to do the weekly episode preview. The staff – both in front of and behind the cameras – has been using social media to share quite a bit of info this summer. Looking forward to writing up the previews starting next week!