Two of my favorite actors from Don Bellisario shows—Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) and Zoe McLellan (JAG)—have been cast along with C.C.H. Pounder in the New Orleans-based backdoor pilot from NCIS producers Gary Glasberg and Mark Harmon.
Bakula will play the lead agent, Pride, a friend of Gibbs' from the days of NIS who helps him investigate the murder of a mutual friend. McLellan will play Agent Brody, a Midwestern fish-out-of-water looking to make a fresh start. Pounder will play Dr. Wade, the Jefferson Parish M.E.
UPDATE (Feb. 10): Alabama native Lucas Black, who played Pee Wee Reese in 42, was announced as Agent LaSalle, who "relocated to New Orleans as a kid and now he embodies its edge and fun and sexiness. He's a man who works hard and plays harder. A no-nonsense federal agent who believes in doing what's right no matter what." Black tweeted that shooting begins in a week
UPDATE (Feb. 18): TVLine reports Paige Turco has been cast as Special Agent Pride's wife, Linda. I like the prospects for a married lead agent. It goes against the typical driven loner lead. Years ago, Don Bellisario thought aloud about marrying off two NCIS agents.
UPDATE (Mar. 10): Dave Walker of the Times-Picayune reports NCIS was set to wrap location shooting in New Orleans March 10. Walker's report also reveals Agent Pride's first name, Dwayne, and that he, Gibbs, and their deceased mutual friend worked on the same NIS team.
UPDATE (Mar. 12): Via The Futon Critic, the press release from CBS features a synopsis of the plot and guest cast, including full character names.
I'm glad NCIS: Los Angeles has succeeded, but I find the show too uneven to buy on DVD. Last season's L.A. spinoff attempt, "Red", didn't wow me. I had been skeptical about this attempt, too, but Bakula, McLellan, Pounder, Black, and Turco will bring a lot to their roles if allowed.
UPDATE (Mar. 26): My impressions of "Crescent City" Part One. I'll update the same post after Part Two.
UPDATE (May 9): Multiple sources report CBS has picked up NCIS: New Orleans for Fall 2014.