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John Corbett to star in CBS' potential 'NCIS: LA' spinoff

February 06, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal
  • John Corbett will star in CBS' potential "NCIS: LA" spinoff, "NCIS: Red."
John Corbett will star in CBS' potential "NCIS: LA" spinoff,… (Los Angeles Times )

John Corbett is getting into the CBS procedural game. The actor will star in the network's potential "NCIS: LA" spinoff.

In "NCIS: Red," a mobile teams of agents are forced to live and work together as they solve crimes around the country. The back-door pilot will air as an episode of "NCIS: LA" this spring. Should it perform well and get a full-fledged series order, it will be the third series in the "NCIS" universe.

Corbett, whose recent TV gigs include "Parenthood" and "Unites States of Tara" (in addition to voice work on Applebee's and Walgreens commercials), will play Roy Quaid, a former NCIS special agent who is forced to retire from active service and now works as an analyst. Despite hanging up his active agent status, he remains the most experienced investigator working for the Red Team.

It's hardly shocking the network is looking to stretch the franchise. "NCIS" continues to perform strongly as it has aged: now in its 10th season, it's averaging more than 20 million viewers in its 8 p.m. slot on Tuesdays (the series was recently picked up for an 11th season). And "NCIS: LA," its lead-out, averages about 16 million viewers and pulls in a 3.0 rating in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that advertisers desire.

And the planted spin-off formula is a tried and true CBS tactic. "NCIS: LA" was introduced as a two-hour episode of "NCIS" in 2009 before making its debut that fall as a series -- going broader, the franchise itself was a planted spin-off from "JAG."  And "CSI" gave us "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY" via the same method. But the planted spin-off doesn't always generate keepers: "Criminal Minds" paved the way for "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior," which was dropped after one season.

Should "NCIS: Red" get picked up to series, "NCIS: LA's" Miguel Ferrer will make the jump and reprise his role as NCIS assistant director Owen Granger.

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Yvonne Villarreal

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

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