New Orleans star of popular NCIS series

The level of detail to create the New Orleans feel is amazing. (WPEC)

It isn't hard to name cities that became a critical part of the TV show they hosted. Programs like "Miami Vice," "The Streets of San Francisco" and even "Mayberry RFD" leaned on their home towns to set the stage for the stories they told. NCIS: New Orleans is no exception.

NCIS: New Orleans is the third spin off from the most popular series on television.

Just a few minutes conversation with the show's production team confirms the city itself is the real star of the show.

"We work very hard to use this city and to explore all aspects of the city." - Jim Hayman, NCIS: New Orleans Executive Producer

Executive producer Jim Hayman quickly admits the city of New Orleans is what makes NCIS: New Orleans special for viewers and often steals the spotlight. He says, “New Orleans is really a character in our show. …We work very hard to use this city and to explore all aspects of the city."

This is not easy task because each episode takes 8 days to shoot. Half of that time is spent shooting on location. The star of the show, Scott Bakula wouldn't have it any other way, but he admits it's tough on the cast and crew. “It's always hard especially because of the elements here. It's brutal and then we fight when we go to places like the Quarter and things like that. It's just logistically it's difficult."

Even though it’s important for this show to shoot on location throughout New Orleans sound stages are still needed. These sets are designed to look like they are in the middle of the French Quarter. Even though the stages are miles away from downtown, the detail makes them appear to be right in the middle of the action in New Orleans.

The one thing the crew can't recreate is the unique atmosphere that the people of New Orleans create during on location shoots. Co-star, Shalita Grant explains the extras really do add something extra. She says, “It adds this flavor and grit that's really important for our show and keeps it distinguished from the other two."

You can see NCIS: New Orleans every Tuesday night at 10pm.

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