What The NCIS Season 16 Set Is Like With Pauley Perrette's Replacement

Brian Dietzen and Diona Reasonover NCIS

NCIS has been a network TV staple for a long time. Over the past 16 seasons, the show has lost many longterm cast members and replaced them with new, fresh faces. However, the show has retained some longterm staples, including Brian Dietzen, who has been with the show since the end of its first season. In that time, he's stayed while others have gone and has had to adapt to changes on the show. With the upcoming 16th season, NCIS will be promoting newcomer Diona Reasonover, who was formerly recurring, to replace the actress. Brian Dietzen has already worked with Reasonover on set, and he recently told CinemaBlend what the show has been like with the replacement charcter. Per the actor:

I think no matter what, if you change the ingredients, the whole thing is gonna change. It's gonna feel a little different. I think that's only natural. Abby Sciuto is definitely a big part of the show and a big part of the formation of the show, and just like when Michael Weatherly left, it changed the show's dynamic somewhat. But then we had amazing people step in, and I'm so happy we have Wilmer Valderrama, who's there now. He wasn't there before when Michael was with us. So you know, where we have certain absences, other people will step in, and you have a different energy, which can be great. I gotta say, Diona Reasonover, she's taken over as Kasie, and man, she's been a wonderful addition to the cast. I've been really happy to be working with her, and I'm looking forward to having more scenes with her, for sure.

So, if you expected NCIS to be exactly the same show when it returns to the schedule for Season 16, you might be a little bit off. New characters always throw some differences into the mix, simply because they are new personalities and they will bounce off of the veteran personalities in ways different than former characters did. However, sometimes casting changes are really able to refresh a show, and Brian Dietzen cites Wilmer Valderrama coming in for Michael Weatherly as a change that really helped the CBS drama. (Speaking of Valderrama and Dietzen, make sure you check out the first look at Season 16.) So far, Dietzen seems happy with Diona Reasonover's Kasie, as well.

Beyond the fact that NCIS' episodes will change thanks to Kasie Hines taking over for Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto, Brian Dietzen also talked a little bit about how Diona Reasonover has been with the cast on the set of the long-running series. In fact, he seems to enjoy being around the actress on a personal level and say Diona Reasonover is a thoughtful human who understands that she is coming into a behemoth show and filling really big shoes. Per Dietzen:

It's obviously different because we're just getting to know one another on set, and I'm a huge fan of hers. I think she's absolutely wonderful. She's just a really good person, and I know that Pauley liked her a lot when they got to work together. It was interesting, one of the first times that we worked together, she said, 'It's gotta be a little weird, huh? Like, to be doing a scene with me in here when this has been Pauley or Abby's lair for so long.' And I smiled at her and I thought, 'Wow, that's insightful.' As someone coming in who's kind of the new person, the new kid on the block, to say, 'Hey, I totally respect what you guys have going here. I don't want to mess anything up, I just want to add to it.' And she really has, she's been a welcome addition. She's been a breath of fresh air, and it's one of those things that happen when you lose a longtime, well-loved character from a show, you sometimes get to welcome someone else great as well. And we're really fortunate that we've gotten to do that.

Not all cast members on TV get along, and not all shows can survive losing major characters. In the case of NCIS, the machine seems to be able to continue running because it is able to attract major talent to fill in when some of the fan-favorite characters on the show leave. Heading into Season 16, we'll have to wait and see what the new dynamic on NCIS is, but for things sound extremely hopeful. You can tune in yourself to find out when NCIS returns to the schedule on Tuesday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET, only on CBS.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.