There is little doubt that “NCIS” is a huge and beloved television show. The very original “NCIS” aired all the way back in 2003, and it is still running today. But it has also produced some really great spinoffs like “NCIS: Los Angeles” and of course, “NCIS: New Orleans.” But there is something special about the New Orleans spinoff. Unlike the other versions of the show, this one is actually filmed on set in New Orleans! Others are filmed on a sound stage.
For the other incarnations of the show, as we said, a soundstage is used. For outdoor shots, the producers shoot around Southern California, for example, Van Nuys Airport. But with “NCIS: New Orleans” it is totally different. The show is actually filmed right in the heart or New Orleans itself! By doing this, they are able to include a sense of authenticity the other two shows don’t have. They can add in local happenings, cuisine, music and so much more.
While Mark Harmon plays Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the main series, New Orlean’s leading man, Scott Bakula, who plays Special Agent Dwayne Pride talks about what he loves about filming in The Big Easy. He said, “You come and meet these people and understand why they’ve been here for hundreds of years. I love music and food and this town is remarkable in both those aspects; I’ve never been in any place where people were so proud of their city.”
Bakula is particularly fond of music and is a musician himself. He rather enjoys the scenes with music in them. He said, “I’m a piano player and singer and I love jazz,” he said. “That by itself to be in the place where that music was birthed is kind of mind-boggling to me, to be where all these people sang and played.” He loves New Orleans so much that he even executively produced a docu-series called “New Orleans, Here and Now.”
According to NOLA.com, the show showcases St. Ann Street, which is in between Bourbon Street and Royal. The series’ Los Angeles-based production designer Victoria Paul said that St. Ann was a great “starting point.” She said, “There’s a building next to it that has five lovely tall windows and a balcony and a second floor. The ‘looks’ up and down the street are wonderful. So we took that front wall, and from there on back we call that our own.”
Paul continued, saying, “four weeks from plywood to ‘Rolling!” speaking about the interior construction of the building. “Seven days a week, a large part of that 24 hours a day. Paint, especially, ran two crews, because the paint department is also responsible for plaster. So all of those bricks, all of those walls, were created by super-talented painters and plasterers.” If you happen to find yourself in New Orleans, if you are looking for a peek into where Scott Bakula and the team get together, that is off-limits. But shots from outside are possible.
You can catch “NCIS: New Orleans” on Sundays on CBS at 10 PM.