Sasha Alexander Couldn't Stand the Hours
Alexander played Caitilin Todd for the first two seasons of NCIS. She eventually left the show as she felt it to be too demanding. She didn’t realize the amount of stamina necessary for the show.
Belllisario stated that this was partially due to her never appearing as a regular on a hit show. She never expected to be working so constantly. Sometimes the work day would extend beyond 16 hours.
Donald Bellisario Used His Real Experience
Show creator Don Bellisario took what he knew to inform the show. He serves in the US Marine Corps as a Gunnery Seargent. The Marine Corp ethos and knowledge of Marine methodology presented in the show all stem from his real life experience.
Many of the protagonists in his shows are current or former members of the armed forces. This is true in Magnum PI, JAG and NCIS. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004.
NCIS is one of the longest running and most watched TV shows in history. After 14 years going strong, here are some facts about the squad that even some series experts never knew.
The Fan Base is in Love With Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon has been known to wear shirts that are sent to him by his fans. He prides himself in his collection of fan sent authentic vintage Marine Corps and NIS/NCIS attire, which he wears around extensively in his free time. Who can blame him for wanting his clothes picked out for him.
Michael Weatherly's Father Disowned Him
Weatherly’s success is truly the product of his hard work. Although he came from wealth, he was cut off at a young age. At 12, he was cut off from his inheritance when he decided to pursue acting.
Fortunately for him, he would make a name for himself within the NCIS universe. As Tony DiNozzo, he would become a star in his own right. He is one of two actors to appear in all 4 NCIS related series.
Pauley Perrette Actually Comes From Forensics
Pauley Perrette plays Abbys the forensic specialist on the show. It is a fitting role for a forensic major. She received her masters degree in forensics from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
While in New York for her masters, she dabbled in acting on the side. It was during this time she landed her role on NCIS. Producers have said that most of the quirks and interests displayed by Abby come from Perrette just playing herself.
Mark Harmon is a Craftsman
Harmon brings his own interests into his character. The hand tools that Harmon uses on set are mostly his own. He uses them in his personal workshop and doesn’t mind lending them for props as well.
He picked up skills as a carpenter during a summer job in high school. After casually mentioning that he helped a neighbor build a plane, they decided to add the trait to his character’s personality. On the show, Gibbs builds boats in his basement, a skill that Harmon himself does not actually have.
Harmon's Son Makes an Appearance
The show has a tendency to use flashbacks. If it seems like you are seeing a younger version of Harmon, your eyes are not playing a trick on you. It is actually his son.
The younger Gibbs in fact played by Harmon’s son Sean. He has appeared in six episodes. Harmon is married to actress Pam Dawber and has another son too.
The Washington DC Scenery is Changed to be More Appealing
Although NCIS is set in Washington DC, it is actually filmed in Santa Clarita. Washington Navy Yard is actually a considerable distance from the famous DC buildings.
The choice to make them seem close was deliberate. Set designers chose to put them in view of the squad room to make it more appealing. The actual view would be significantly drearier. This way, the office can be seen as part of DC’s hustle and bustle.
Bellisario Voiced the Cutaways
The sound heard at the beginning and end of each act is called a ‘Foof’. Show creator Don Bellisario makes the noise. It made its first appearance in season 2.
It has since appeared in every episode. It is considered unique in the extended NCIS universe as it is the only show to include the foof. Bellisario makes the noise by hitting a microphone with his hand. It just happens to sound like a light bulb exploding.
The Spine of the Show
Mark Harmon is the clearly the leading man for the show. When rumors began spreading on his departure, it shook the cast. Michael Weatherly description bred a new nickname for him.
Weatherly said, “He’s The Spine of the show. Without him it’s a show about jellyfish. We need our spine.” He continues to work on the show to this day. NCIS is still one of the most watched shows on TV as they retained their spine.