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NCIS: New Orleans: Season 1

Paramount // Unrated // August 18, 2015
List Price: $55.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted September 9, 2015 | E-mail the Author
NCIS - New Orleans Season 1 DVD Review

NCIS: New Orleans is a spin-off series from the mega-successful NCIS. The series was created by one of the head writer's of NCIS, Gary Glasberg, who serves as a executive producer on the series alongside Mark Harmon (NCIS), James Hayman, and Jeffrey Lieber. The series takes the basic concept of NCIS and brings it to the Crescent City: New Orleans.

This spin-off was introduced on NCIS in a two-part episode which connected the two programs and launched the show. NCIS: New Orleans then picks up in its first episode with the main cast of characters as they work as an elite team in New Orleans. NCIS: New Orleans is a procedural drama in which the characters work on a variety of cases to stop terrorists and other threats. The team is led by the Senior Special Agent Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula), who is in charge of the small group of members in the New Orleans branch.

The rest of the team consists of Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black), one of the team-leaders, and Special Agent Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan). The whiz-kid Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich) works in the office (in a similar role to that of Abby on NCIS), and  Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) is the medical examiner. The performances are generally good by the actors on NCIS: New Orleans. Scott Bakula is an excellent choice for the lead of the show. Lucas Black and Zoe McLellan are both excellent supporting additions and have good chemistry together.

The series has a generally solid production design which is well implemented. Cinematography for the series is by Gordon Lonsdale, who provides a high-quality style to the show. Both the production design by Victoria Paul and the art direction by James A. Gelarden are excellent elements of the production. The costumes by Ann Walters are well-suited for the characters throughout. The series music composed by Brian Kirk (NCIS) has a similar style to the music composed for NCIS.

The writing for the series is done by creator Gary Glasberg, Sonya Winton, Jonathan I. Kidd, and the rest of the writing staff. Despite Glasberg's involvement, NCIS: New Orleans isn't something which excels at character-based storytelling as much as NCIS does. Though the show follows a decent cast of characters and is interesting in basing the setting in New Orleans the time spent developing the characters is brief in each episode with more emphasis on the episodic aspect. Unfortunately, this element keeps NCIS: New Orleans from feeling quite as entertaining as NCIS.

The series direction is by recurring directors James Hayman, Terence O'Hara, and James Whitmore Jr. and rest of directing team. The direction is excellent on the series and is an impressive production aspect. The series setting in New Orleans is well established and it certainly adds a unique aspect to the style of the show.

NCIS: New Orleans manages to be a reasonably entertaining series which has some strong production elements. The cast does good work on the show. The series does a good job in connecting to NCIS as a spinoff as well as establishing some of its own roots. Though the storytelling isn't as strong as on NCIS, the series has enough merit to be worth checking out.

The DVD:


NCIS: New Orleans arrives on DVD with a decent presentation quality in the original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. The image has reasonable clarity, color, and depth. The quality of the video is pretty good. Unfortunately, the release has poor production quality. Some DVD players may experience playback problems and this is a major detriment to the presentation.


The audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. The audio quality is reasonably good on this DVD release. The dialogue reproduction is strong. The music score composed by Brian Kirk is well represented on the release as well.

Subtitles are provided in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing) and Portuguese.


Includes Digital Copy UltraViolet

Bonus Episodes:

NCIS Season 11 episodes (which serve as the series pilot): Crescent City Part 1 and Part 2 including audio commentary with Mark Harmon and Gary Glasberg

Deleted Scenes:

From Musician Heal Thyself

From Master of Horror

From Watch Over Me

From Chasing Ghosts

From Stolen Valor

From Baitfish

Audio Commentary:

Musician Heal Thyself with Jeffrey Lieber and James Hayman

Careful What You Wish For with Jeffery Lieber and James Hayman


Spooktacular (5:09)

Mardi Gras the NCIS Way (4:45)

After the Storm (5:54)

Starting Up in New Orleans (14:07)

A Big Easy Success (30:04)

How Rob Got the Job (3:58)

Touring the Sets (4:47)

The Write Angle (21:30)

Strike Up the Band (8:39)

Final Thoughts:

NCIS: New Orleans is a decent spin-off series from NCIS. The cast does excellent work on the series (with Scott Bakula being notably impressive). The production work on the show is quite strong overall. The series writing and characters aren't on the same level of quality as NCIS but this is still a reasonably entertaining series worth checking out.

The DVD release is unfortunately a disappointment which is hard to recommend. There are issues with the manufacturing of this release and some DVD players will experience some detrimental playback issues. Viewers are encouraged to rent this release if interested. The playback problems are reason enough to skip this release.

Skip It.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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