As NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer Shane Brennan prepares to possibly launch the franchise's third show, some might wonder: Does the world need another NCIS?
First Look: NCIS: L.A. spinoff sees "Red"
"I'm sure it's a question a lot of people are asking and I can assure everyone it's not something that we approached lightly," Brennan tells TVGuide.com. "It's something that I certainly wouldn't have done if I didn't think we could make it different and turn a different light on the NCIS world."
The key difference is that the characters at the heart of the new series, which will be introduced Tuesday in the first hour of a two-part NCIS: Los Angeles (9/8c, CBS), are part of the Red Team, a mobile NCIS unit that can be deployed anywhere in the country. When a murder in Idaho is connected to one in Los Angeles, Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O'Donnell) join forces with the Red Team, led by Agent Paris Summerskill (Kim Raver).
Although all of the shows in the NCIS franchise feature a tightknit team of agents, Brennan suggests the premise of the new series automatically makes the storytelling more personal. Can you imagine NCIS' Tony and Ziva camping out in Kansas every week?
Although CBS most likely won't make a decision about ordering the new series until May, Brennan says that he could easily see an all-NCIS night on the 2013 fall schedule. And, given the relationship between Callen and Paris, he hopes to find intriguing ways to blend stories across the franchise.
"It's quite exciting to me to explore a relationship between two characters over two different series and if we're lucky enough to get picked up, it's something that I'll certainly be pursuing," he says. "It may not be in the classic crossover episode sense that people are used to. It may be a different approach and I have some ideas. ... It's got a lot of potential, I believe."
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS. The conclusion to "Red," airs on March 26.