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Rocky Carroll doubling down on NCIS franchise

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 2nd 2009 2:55PM
Leo G. Carroll did it in 1966. Lisa Bonet sort of did it in 1987. What am I talking about? Double duty. That is, playing the same role on two series which are running at the same time. There are probably quite a few other instances, but Leo was head man Mr. Waverly on both The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. for a year, and Lisa was Denise Huxtable in college (A Different World) and when she came home to visit the family in Brooklyn on The Cosby Show.

Now, Rocky Carroll will appear on both NCIS shows. Doing double duty makes perfect sense for the NCIS twosome, especially since they're going to be airing back to back on Tuesday, 8-10 P.M.

Also, when you consider the current economic climate in the world -- show business included -- having one actor crossover is more practical than hiring a new actor for the new NCIS. It'll also, presumably, allay the cost of hiring Oscar-winner Linda Hunt for NCIS: LA.

Within NCIS's universe, Leon Vance is in charge of the entire Naval Criminal Investigative Services, not just the D.C. branch. He's the director, overseeing all operations for NCIS including the special ops team in L.A. That's how it was set up in the two-part spin-off that aired in April and May. Vance assigned Jethro and his team to go to L.A. and work with the characters that were introduced as an elite NCIS branch with high-tech surveillance equipment and agents that specialize in undercover work.

For me, the NCIS spin-off was good, not great. I was expecting more. Clearly, CBS is thinking differently. The network believes NCIS: Los Angeles is a sure thing. For Rocky Carroll, it's something else -- two paychecks. Good for him.

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I'm not a fan of Rocky Carroll's Director Vance, but this does make sense. However, Linda Hunt may be an Oscar winner but the last "major" film she had a role in was the horrible remake Yours, Mine, and Ours. I doubt she was that expensive.

It's a shame this series won't have a stronger female character. Mace had potential and even if they didn't like Louise Lombard another strong female leader would have been nice.

July 03 2009 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And don't forget the Law and Order Franchise, with various detectives and D.A.'s (and, of course, Arthur Branch) double and triple dipping.

July 02 2009 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It makes sense, but it annoys me. Clearly they're using Vance to bring 'old' NCIS viewers over to the new show, on par with the examples cited above. On one hand, I think Vance will have the opportunity for bigger storylines. He isn't needed as much in NCIS: The Old School territory, because the formula was established without him. In NCIS: The New Generation, he might be able to do more. And, I hate to see a good actor wasted. At the same time, because they did it with Jethro and Probie, I dislike the blatant cry for attracting existing viewers to the new show.

Maybe it annoys me more than when Private Practice, et al did it, because despite the flaws in those early shows, I felt something was there and they needed the support. However, I don't feel quite see the potential in NCIS:LA. Also, did CBS's other franchise rely on cross-overs as much as NCIS:LA? Perhaps I'm just forgetting something.

July 02 2009 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't forget Sarah Michelle Gellar guesting on "Angel" while "Buffy" was still going strong! :)

July 02 2009 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oscar Goldman (played by Richard Anderson) on "The Six-Million Dollar Man" and "Bionic Woman". And for a season on two separate networks if memory serves.

July 02 2009 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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