CBS' NCIS: New Orleans Thinking Of Pulling Production From Louisiana Over Abortion Bill

scott bakula pride ncis new orleans cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

NCIS: New Orleans has had a surprisingly authentic feel to it for its five seasons on the air, considering the nature of the excessive crises that regularly threaten the in-universe Big Easy. The authenticity comes from the show filming in New Orleans and showcasing recognizable features of the historic city. Now, however, NCIS: NOLA is considering pulling out of Louisiana due to a recent bill restricting abortion in the state.

Louisiana lawmakers voted to ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat back in May, and there has been backlash from the entertainment biz. Although Louisiana isn't home to as many productions as Georgia, for example, which is facing the same potential problems from Disney as well as shows like The Walking Dead, it is home to NCIS: New Orleans, among others.

NCIS: NOLA pulling production from Louisiana would arguably be a bigger deal for the project than pretty much any other project in the state. New Orleans is regularly showcased on the show, from the architecture to the landscape to the culture.

Still, NCIS: New Orleans showrunner Christopher Silber (who replaced the previous showrunner after misconduct allegations broke) didn't mince words in his statement to Variety about potentially leaving Louisiana:

As the show continues production in New Orleans this season, we will monitor developments and wait to see how this plays out in the courts. Should the legislation take effect, it would be unconscionable to me to continue production in a state that enacts a draconian law putting women’s health and rights at risk.

NCIS: New Orleans could face considerable losses if it does pull production from Louisiana, which became an attractive locale for TV shows and movies in recent years due to tax credits and breaks for filming there. That said, NCIS: NOLA obviously didn't just come to New Orleans for the tax breaks. The show was renewed for Season 6 despite fan fears, and Christopher Silber's comments indicate that production will resume in New Orleans. But will it remain there?

It's possible NCIS: New Orleans could pull the majority of production and simply rebuild sets elsewhere, then visit NOLA every once in a while to shoot exteriors if producers felt it impossible to continue without any of the city. Or NCIS: NOLA could just fake it all and recreate New Orleans elsewhere. If fans can go along with some of the crazier plots of the show, then surely they can go along with whatever the show has to do to create the city.

Of course, the legislation has not yet taken effect, and it's entirely possible that it never will, meaning NCIS: New Orleans won't have to leave Louisiana at all. Chris Stelly of the Office of Entertainment Industry Development in Louisiana has said that no productions have left the state at this point.

Will NCIS: New Orleans leave Louisiana? If so, where would it go? Certainly not Georgia, if the legislation in both Louisiana and Georgia goes through. Only time will tell what happens next. NCIS: NOLA has survived its share of issues in the past, and could well survive more.

Of course, the NCIS franchise mothership isn't generating the best buzz at the moment thanks to former NCIS actress Pauley Perrette's accusations against star Mark Harmon. Hey, at least all seems to be going well on NCIS: Los Angeles! Maybe it could even launch a JAG revival.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV and movies news, and check out your viewing options this summer while we wait for all the NCIS series to return in the fall.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).