“Some Clenched Sphincters Along The Way!” NCIS Charges Into Sydney

“Some Clenched Sphincters Along The Way!” NCIS Charges Into Sydney

On Friday, 10 November, Paramount+ celebrated the global launch premiere of NCIS: Sydney under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge at View By Sydney.

The NCIS: Sydney cast arrived at the launch event in style on board a luxury superyacht. Joining the cast were executives from Paramount and CBS.

NCIS: Sydney Cast at the launch event on Nov 10 2023

Celebrating with cast and Paramount executives were the Endemol Shine Australia Executive Producers of NCIS: Sydney, Sara Richardson, Sue Seeary, Michele Bennett and Creator Morgan O’Neill. Network 10’s Angela Bishop hosted the night, interviewing Paramount Global executives and the cast.

The launch of NCIS: Sydney comes off the back of the massive success of the NCIS franchise in the United States, with the program still going strong after 20 seasons.

The international creators of the show had long been looking for ways to further expand the audience and the NCISverse into global markets. “In looking to expand the NCIS universe, Sydney was the perfect backdrop for our international version. When you watch the show, you’ll see this dynamic, vibrant, beautiful city. The DNA of NCIS is heart, humour and compelling storytelling; it’s a family dynamic both in front of and behind the camera,” said George Cheeks, president & CEO at CBS and chief content officer for News & Sports at Paramount+.

“We had the opportunity to expand the universe of a show that is already a behemoth around the world, and I won’t lie, there were some clenched sphincters along the way,” said O’Neill. “It’s a show that you come for the crime, and you stay for the characters”. “We tried to keep it pretty close to that original format, with characters you truly want to spend an hour with”.

Home and Away and Bite Club alum Todd Lasance, who plays Sergeant Jim “JD” Dempsey in the series, spoke about being at one of his lowest points coming into the casting process. He said he was eternally grateful for the series, having pulled him out of a dark place. “This is quite literally the dream scenario. I’ve been doing this for 16 years, and to be part of a series like this as one of the leads on a scale this huge, to be working in my home country, to have met this cast is everything. They are like family to me,” said Lasance.

Lasance broke down when speaking about the experience but quickly reiterated his gratitude for the experience and his willingness to keep it going. “Every day I stepped on set, and I said to these actors how grateful I am to be there and how much I love them,” said Lasance. “I’m just so grateful, let’s do thirty seasons”.

English actress Olivia Swann, who is best known for her breakout role in DC Legends of Tomorrow, was humbled by the welcome she had received from the rest of her cast and by Australia as a whole. “I was made to feel so welcome that I actually don’t want to leave. This experience has been the best experience of my life,” Swann said.

“This became five months of my life that I will never forget because I met these incredible people and created a show and a world that means more to us than I think we could possibly ever describe, and I just hope that everyone else agrees,” said Swann.

In addition to the cast, the event also highlighted several distinguished guests, including representatives from the real NCIS, Australian Federal Police, and Royal Australian Navy. Each contributed in some capacity to creating the first season, with some providing valuable advice and others even appearing in front of the camera. “All of our partners from the Royal Australian Navy, we are eternally grateful for the access and council you gave this production. It brought skill, and it brought authenticity,” said Cheeks.

The first episode of NCIS: Sydney launched on Paramount+ on Friday, 10th November, with new episodes released weekly on Fridays.

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