Pilot Perception – NCIS: New Orleans

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: NCIS: New Orleans, CBS in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Tuesdays at 9/8c

The Pedigree: This NCIS spinoff was created by Gary Glasberg (NCIS), who wrote the episode with Jeffrey Lieber (Lost). Michael Zinberg (The Good Wife) directed the episode.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars Scott Bakula (Enterprise), Lucas Black (42), Zoe McLellan (Dirty Sexy Money), and CCH Pounder (The Shield).

The Premise: NCIS: New Orleans is a procedural about an investigative team solving crimes that involve the military in the New Orleans area.

A Taste:


What Works: The show immediately established a sense of place with music and food, and did a reasonable job of making me care about the characters at least a bit, with the main character’s personal connection to this week’s case. The team has decent chemistry, and there’s an interesting dynamic between the agents played by Black and McLellan. Two highlights of the premiere for me were Rob Kerkovich’s forensic scientist and Steven Weber’s corrupt politician, but unfortunately neither of them are listed as regulars, so I’m not sure if or how often they’ll be back. I’ll give the show another episode or two, but it didn’t really grab me.

What Doesn’t: There’s nothing really terrible about this; it’s more that there just isn’t much to say. The whole endeavor feels pretty generic, so while I wouldn’t warn you against it, I also wouldn’t particularly recommend you go out of your way to watch. The case of the week could have made this stand out, but it too was forgettable. The cast is also very (though not exclusively) white, for a show set in New Orleans, and some of the accents are pretty hilarious.

Our Favorite Line: “Don’t intimate about my intimacies, please, thank you.”

You Might Like This if you like other flavors of NCIS, probably, or if you’re in the market for a new procedural set somewhere other than New York or California.

If You’re Interested: Watch the pilot when CBS reruns it on Saturday at 8/7c, or on the CBS or Global TV sites or On Demand. Then set your DVR for next Tuesday at 9/8c.

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

2 thoughts on “Pilot Perception – NCIS: New Orleans

  1. Love the original, don’t like the L.A. version and so far the N.O. version has some really bad acting and pretty boring plots. Bummer. Its just not NCIS without Jethro, Abby, Ducky & Dinozzo.

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