A Year After A Tragic Lawsuit, NCIS New Orleans Ended Abruptly

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Highlights

  • Controversies around filming practices and lawsuits likely contributed to the unexpected cancellation of NCIS: New Orleans in 2021.
  • CBS failed to inform local law enforcement while filming a robbery scene, leading to a dangerous misunderstanding with police in 2017.
  • Actors and a store owner sued CBS for emotional distress after a terrifying filming incident, which may have negatively impacted the show’s future.


NCIS: New Orleans was a fan favorite for years. Fans enjoyed the new storylines from NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles and enjoyed the onscreen chemistry the actors had with one another. It was not until the series ended Season Six by killing off a beloved character, Christopher LaSalle, that fans felt the storylines waned. The sentiment was one that NCIS: Los Angeles fans knew well after Christian Olson left the series. Shortly thereafter, NCIS: New Orleans was canceled. The cancelation took the cast by surprise, but fans were not shocked at all.

Around the time that NCIS: New Orleans was canceled, CBS was being sued. Many wondered if this lawsuit was the beginning of the end for NCIS: New Orleans. While the details have never been disclosed, the case never went to court. CBS settled the case for an unknown amount of money.


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If the settlement was large enough, it may just have been the catalyst that CBS needed to cut its losses with the series in New Orleans and focus interests elsewhere, later in Sydney and Hawaii.


NCIS: New Orleans Did Not Inform Local Police Of Their Shooting Schedule

CBS failed to get permits and inform local law enforcement and other shop owners that a robbery scene was being filmed

When NCIS: New Orleans was shooting Season Four in 2017, one of the storylines included a jewelry store being held up at gunpoint. While this does not sound like a portion of a plot that is out of the realm of possibilities that would happen on the show, there was one problem that occurred when the scene was being shot that nearly caused actors in the scene to be shot by the local sheriff’s office.

The scene of the robbery took place at Sol’s Jewelry Store in Chalmette, Louisiana. The store was located in a suburb of New Orleans. However, unlike locations that would shut down for shooting in New Orleans due to permits, something was overlooked, and a permit was never obtained for the day of shooting.


Neighboring stores were not notified that the series was shooting a scene in the jewelry shop. All the businesses saw was one of their own getting robbed and the police were called.

Robbery scene from NCIS: New Orleans
CBS

“We’re thinking it’s the real deal,” St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann explained. “We approached this all cautiously with our weapons drawn.”

“I was detained and told I was being accused of armed robbery,” actor Bradford Roublow said. “I really didn’t know if I was going to lose my life or not.”

“I said ‘it’s fake! NCIS!'” Sol Virani, the store owner said. “It’s like 40 cops.”

Sheriff Pohlmann said that he and the sheriff’s office were never informed about the shoot. While no one was hurt, the situation could have turned out completely differently.


“When I went inside I talked to them I said ‘this is insane,'” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “I don’t think y’all realize how close this came for this ending up bad for all involved.”

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Sheriff Pohlmann went on to say, “Something really bad could have happened.”

Despite nothing happening, there was some emotional distress and loss of income that happened because of the time on NCIS: New Orleans. Because of this, both Roublow and Virani, as well as another actor sued CBS in 2020 for damages.

Why CBS Was Sued By Actors Over The NCIS: New Orleans Shoot

Because the actors could have been killed by the Louisiana Sheriff’s Department, they sued for emotional and physical distress

Given that the actors and the store owner’s lives were legitimately in danger on the day of the shoot that went wrong, they decided to sue CBS in 2020. The reason for the lawsuit boiled down to the plaintiffs feeling “the psychological effects” of the event in the years after it happened.

To the actors, the event was “terrifying and traumatizing.” Because of this, they wanted to be compensated for the distress experienced both on the day of the shoot in 2017 as well the time after the experience when life did not feel the same.


NCIS: New Orleans
CBS

The actors and the store owner were under the impression that CBS had taken care of permits and informed the proper officials of their shoot. However, it quickly became clear this was not the case when the actors jumped out of a van wearing ski masks, carrying guns, and yelling, “This is a robbery.”

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles. Because of this, CBS tried to get a change of venue to New Orleans, where the series took place. But because the show itself is produced out of Los Angeles, the venue did not change.

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It is unclear what the terms of the settlement were between the actors and store owner and CBS. What is clear is that shortly after the lawsuit came to light, NCIS: New Orleans was canceled.


NCIS: New Orleans Was Canceled Shortly After Lawsuits Were Filed

The lawsuit against CBS was filed in 2020 and NCIS: New Orleans was canceled in 2021

When NCIS: New Orleans was greenlit for a seventh season, it looked like the franchise had another hit on its hands that would last for several more seasons, at a minimum. But, in February 2021, CBS executives announced that Season Seven would be its last. The final episode would air in May 2021, and that would be a wrap on NCIS: New Orleans.

Cast of NCIS: New Orleans
CBS

The official reason for the cancelation was blamed on low ratings. But it was as a result of CBS moving the show repeatedly that New Orleans had a hard time establishing an audience. It was a huge blow to the show when CBS put NCIS: New Orleans on Sunday night in a timeslot that would never win the majority of the audience. After all, there was Sunday Night Football to contend with. The timeslot was seen as a death shot to the show, and as it would turn out, the show died on Sunday nights.


Given that the lawsuit was never brought up as the reason for the cancelation, it is unclear if it played any part in NCIS: New Orleans coming to an end. But what is known is that CBS did not do anything to try and revive the show either, leaving the actors and many fans shocked at the swift removal of one of the first spin-offs of the NCIS franchise.

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