NCIS: New Orleans will continue to make its mark as "the fun one" of the NCIS franchise in Season 2, starting with the premiere episode, which features a guest appearance by Grammy-winning local musician Dr. John.
"What was so much fun about shooting with Dr. John was we get to experience really feeling New Orleans," star Zoe McLellan, who plays Agent Meredith Brody, tells TVGuide.com. "To actually be able to hear him play and sing over and over again and really get that feeling, it just feels so real, because we're in it. ... I had goosebumps when we were filming that. It was a lot of fun. He's a really, really interesting, awesome guy."
Dr. John won't be the only musician who stops by this season. Pride (Scott Bakula) uses the money from the sale of his house to purchase a bar, which will act as a new hangout for the NCIS crew - and the perfect spot to showcase some live music. Creator Gary Glasberg says fans can expect not just local acts, but "unexpected appearances" as well.
"[Executive producer Jeff Lieber] and I both feel that it's super important to make sure that that element of New Orleans continues to be very present in the show," Glasberg tells TVGuide.com. "We want to make sure that the fun of New Orleans and that aspect of New Orleans doesn't get lost in the procedural stories that we do. To have an opportunity and a setting to showcase that is something we're excited about."
Here are some other things to expect from NCIS: New Orleans' sophomore season:
1. An NCIS crossover. The details are still being finalized, but Glasberg is prepping a crossover episode between NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans that will air sometime in January, and will likely feature one character from each show trading positions temporarily. Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Brody, perhaps?
2. A bigger team. We'll see more of probie agent Sonja Percy (Shalita Grant) and computer guru Patton Plame (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell) this season, with both actors being promoted to series regulars. In particular, Sonja and LaSalle (Lucas Black) will grow close. "When you switch from one agency to another, as she's doing, there's a lot of new ground to cover and to work out, and they take full advantage of her as the probie," Glasberg says. "She's a very open, aggressive, in-your-face personality."
3. A new look for Brody. Brody is letting her hair down in Season 2 - literally. "The first season, she had this short hair, and I think she was very much by the books, by the rules," McLellan says. "Now, her hair's longer, and I think that she's a little sassier and a little sexier, a little more comfortable in her own skin. Maybe just working with the boys has loosened her up a little bit, because LaSalle is so playful so he's bringing that side out in her. ... I think Brody is just getting more comfortable in this new office, in this new city, with her life."
4. An emotional arc for LaSalle. After difficulties in his personal life last season, LaSalle is "struggling" at the start of Season 2. "There's a really significant arc coming up for LaSalle," Glasberg hints. "Pride has to really be there for him as a mentor and as a brother, and LaSalle will rely heavily on his team members as well, on Brody and this new relationship that'll form with Sonja. ... We've got some really emotional stuff coming up for him."
5. Love interest(s) for Brody? Brody meets a new male suitor around Episode 4 who leaves her "smitten," but we can also expect to see the return of her ex-fiance, James (Luke Mably). "I think that they're going to leave some doors open," McLellan teases. "I actually really like the ex-fiancee story line because they have similar issues in that they're really married to their jobs. So, they understand each other." As for any potential sparks flying between her and LaSalle, McLellan says the co-workers will remain just that, for now. "I don't believe that that's what the writers are planning on, but I feel like, who knows?" she says. "They definitely have a beautiful connection, but I'm not sure where they're going to take that."
6. New responsibilities for Dr. Wade. We'll get to see a lot more of Dr. Wade's (CCH Pounder) home life after she ends up adopting the two boys she's been fostering. "That gives us some balance, [some] well-rounded family stuff that she'll be dealing with that'll pull Pride into her world as well," Glasberg hints.
7. Meet the parents. In Episode 7, Annie Potts guest-stars as Brody's mom, who's brought to town for work. "We're really going to get to know Brody when you meet her mom," McLellan warns. It's also likely that Stacy Keach will return as Pride's father.
NCIS: New Orleans returns Tuesday at 9/8c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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