Q: Last season’s “NCIS” finale was a two-parter that featured Scott Bakula and CCH Pounder, which seemed like it was a setup for an “NCIS” spinoff. Is that going to happen? — Brenda S., Joppa, Md.
A: “NCIS: New Orleans” is definitely happening. In fact, it premieres on CBS Sept. 23 at 9/8c, right after the season 12 premiere of “NCIS.” The crime-procedural drama stars Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, Rob Kerkovich and Paige Turco.
As the title would suggest, the series is set and filmed in the Big Easy, and while it follows the “NCIS” formula, the show definitely has a feel all its own. Series star CCH Pounder told me recently: “The pacing is definitely different. It’s a different kind of temperature and atmosphere, certainly, but also, the pace of it is not as uptight as it would be in, say, Washington. It covers a wide swath of the Southern belt from New Orleans up through Alabama. The framework is the same, but the people and the content will be quite different.”
But just because the people are different, it doesn’t mean that familiar faces won’t be showing up now and again. CCH explained: “Everyone wants to come to New Orleans. Joe Spano was here last week; Meredith Eaton was here; Michael Weatherly is here now. So the food and the ’laissez les bons temps rouler’ (’let the good times roll’) attitude have enticed a lot of them to come on down.”
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Q: Now that Jennifer Esposito has reappeared on “Taxi Brooklyn,” why did she ever leave “Blue Bloods”? I thought that it was reported she was ill? — Tony via email
A: Back in 2012, Jennifer collapsed on the “Blue Bloods” set due to complications from celiac disease and missed a week of work. Her doctor advised her that she needed to cut back her work schedule. Rather than work around her schedule, CBS put her on an unpaid leave of absence (and even implied that her collapse was a stunt to get a raise), and refused to let her obtain limited work in the meantime. When her contract with the show expired, she was able to look for work elsewhere.
Jennifer currently is co-starring in the action-drama “Taxi Brooklyn,” which is based on Luc Besson’s feature film called “Taxi.” Luc is best known for “Leon: The Professional,” the “Taken” films, the “Transporter” series, “The Fifth Element” and much, much more. “Taxi Brooklyn” wrapped its first season on NBC Sept. 10; there is no word as of this writing of a second season.
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Q: I love Bill Cosby’s comedy. Does he have plans to return to TV? — Robert M., via email
A: NBC announced at the Television Critics Association tour this summer that it was developing a comedy for Bill Cosby, which could premiere as early as summer 2015. The series is described as a “multi-camera, classic extended-family sitcom,” with Bill as the patriarch.
Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at [email protected].
© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.