The very popular crime procedural, NCIS, and its intriguing cast of characters has been on the air for more than 13 years. Like any production, it has its behind-the-scenes mystique and like all human beings, its characters have complex lives that both coincide and clash with their real personalities.
While the field office for NCIS is the Capitol Beltway in Washington, D.C., filming for the show is in Santa Clarita, California, in the dry hills and valleys north of Los Angeles.
Some key NCIS players have lives similar to their characters
From 1955 to 1959, executive producer, Donald Bellisario, was a U.S. Marine. In his own words: “When it comes to developing episodes, I rely heavily on incidents I either experienced or heard about while a Marine.”
NCIS is a show of family ties
Bellisario has employed several family members on the popular television series. Field agent, Timothy Mc McGee (Sean Murray), is his stepson from his marriage to Vivienne Bellisario; Murray’s stepsister, Troian Bellisario, plays his onscreen sister, who in season four becomes the prime suspect in a murder. Michael Bellisario, Don’s son from an earlier marriage, had the role of dishonest lab assistant, Chip Sterling, featured in the third season. Vivienne Bellisario (Don’s wife and Murray’s mom) plays the mysterious red-haired love interest of special agent, Leroy Jethro Gibbs during seasons one and two.
Her complex role as goth forensic scientist, Abby Sciuto, is not so far off from reality. Always fascinated with forensic science, she studied sociology, psychology and criminal science at Valdosta State University in Georgia and at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. She told the Associated Press in 2011:
“I was a voracious student. I ended up with the best background to be an actor ever because I’d been studying human behavior in science for years and years.”