This Tuesday, the time has come to meet the newest member of the “NCIS” team when Emily Wickersham joins the cast as NSA Analyst Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop.”
“As I have said before, the goal here wasn’t to replace Ziva [Cote de Pablo],” executive producer Gary Glasberg told xfinityTV in an exclusive interview. “The goal was to find someone new and different that excited us as writers and, hopefully, excites everyone as viewers as well. We came up with a character that we felt provided something new and different — and that is her having a global view of the world as an NSA analyst, looking at the big picture and being a thinker, which is a very different approach than Ziva had.”
Bishop is tasked with joining the team when the discovery is made that the Secretary of the Navy was bugged during a confidential briefing. Interestingly, Bishop had predicted the security leak in a threat-analysis report two years prior to the bugging actually taking place, which makes her the perfect person to help Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team get to the bottom of it.
The case goes well, so Ellie sticks around and will take the desk that previously belonged to Ziva and prior to that Kate (Sasha Alexander).
Check out below what more Glasberg had to say about the new addition to “NCIS”:
What makes Ellie Bishop the perfect complement to the team?
In comes Emily Wickersham, who brings this character to life. Who brings heart and pathos and quirk and eccentricity to it. As she starts filming these scenes, we just become more and more excited by what we’re seeing. As the episode comes together, we realized we had found something very special.
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Was Ellie always supposed to be the new addition to the team, or was it Emily’s performance and camaraderie with the current cast that made you want to add her?
That was the character that we were hopeful about, but until someone gets here and brings the character to life, I can’t specifically say that is definitively going to be it one way or the other. The combination came together so beautifully that everyone was in agreement that we were in good shape.
In listening to your description of Bishop, I would say she is not so much a computer geek like McGee, as say a Carrie Mathison-type (Clare Danes from “Homeland”), who sees connections between potential incidents and bad guys?
That’s an interesting way to put it — but without Carrie’s problems. Ellie is someone who is very much coming at things with an international perspective and a thinker’s perspective. She is someone who has grown up in a world where terrorism is a part of everyday life. She dedicated her life to that from a very young age. And, yet, she is someone who socially has to fit in with our group. They really enjoy her. They respond to her quirks and her eccentricities, and are entertained by her.
At the end of the day, Bishop is a different character. She brings something fun to the show and something fun to the group, but at its heart, it is still “NCIS.” And that is what excited us here at the show. Everything that “NCIS” is, is still there. It’s just a little different.
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In my mind, Gibbs became like a second father to Ziva. Will he take on a paternal role with Ellie, or because of who she is, will it be different?
It is definitely different, but there is a little bit of that. It is the nature of who Gibbs is. He can’t help it. Once he connects with anyone, there is a little bit of paternal connection no matter what. This is a unique relationship and it takes him to a different place. Personalities are different. The way they talk to each other is different. I am in the process of editing right now and it is putting a smile on people’s faces.
It is way too soon for Tony (Michael Weatherly) to get involved with anyone, so will McGee (Sean Murray) and Delilah (Margo Harsman) be the romantic interest in the show going forward this season?
I am absolutely thrilled with what Delilah has brought to the show so far this season and their relationship. She will be back. We have some fun stuff planned that is coming up. We will have to see. I honestly didn’t go into it with the idea of replacing one relationship with the other.
But we need some romance.
There needs to be some in there. We also have to keep in mind that everyone has been through some tough times recently. Just as in real life, sometimes you take a little break and relax a little bit and, hopefully, something fun comes along.
The “Gut Check” episode of “NCIS” airs Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 8/7c on CBS.