CBS is looking to expand the successful "NCIS" franchise with a spinoff set in New Orleans, sources confirm to E! News. The project, executive produced by "NCIS" showrunner Gary Glasberg and series star Mark Harmon, will be introduced in a two-part backdoor pilot, which will air in the spring.
According to Deadline, who first reported the news of CBS' plans for the spinoff, "NCIS: New Orleans" (we assume that would be the title!) would center on NCIS New Orleans office which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as the Texas panhandle.
The "character-driven" project, which will film in February, will be written by Glasberg. This wouldn't be NCIS' first spinoff attempt: The popular "NCIS: Los Angeles" starring LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell launched in 2009 (after being introduced via a backdoor pilot on NCIS in 2008) and will hit its 100th episode this year. Last season, CBS introduced "NCIS: Red" as a backdoor pilot on NCIS: Los Angeles. The project, which starred John Corbett and Kim Raver, was not picked up to series.
Spinoff fever seems to have hit Hollywood as of late: The CW is launching "The Vampire Diaries'" offshoot "The Originals," which is also set in New Orleans, while ABC's "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," a "Once Upon a Time" spinoff, is also debuting this fall. AMC just announced plans for a "Breaking Bad" spinoff, as well an offshoot of "The Walking Dead." NBC is also launching a "Chicago Fire" spinoff, "Chicago PD," later this year. Other series eyeing spinoffs include "Arrow" and "Supernatural."
Of course, spinoffs have a rich and successful history at CBS: In addition to "NCIS: Los Angeles," the network had three hit "CSI" series, including "CSI," "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY."
"NCIS" returns for its 11th season on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. on CBS.