Scott Bakula and CCH Pounder in the NCIS New Orleans finale, photo courtesy of CBS.

Normally, at this time of year, network TV shows are gearing up and getting ready for production once more, but for the stars of NCIS: New Orleans that cycle of work, then play will not be happening this year as CBS cancelled the series ahead of what would have been it’s eighth season on the air. But how does the cast feel about the cancellation? Scott Bakula shared one reason the CBS cancellation hit him so hard.

It’s been two months and some change since Scott Bakula and the rest of the cast of NCIS: New Orleans saw their show make its final bow on the airwaves, though it’s been even longer since the cast was on set filming the series. While cancellation is a part of most show’s life cycles, Bakula explained why New Orleans in particular was so hard to let go of. A lot of it had to do with the city and the people in it, per what he told TV Insider:

It’s hard to leave. We kind of had the key to the city; everybody knew me and I appreciated being able to pat every cop I walked by on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’

Scott Bakula had previously talked about his “surprise” over the show being cancelled, but his feelings about where NCIS: New Orleans filmed are a different thing. Reportedly the cast and crew found out the series would be ending at the end of Season 7 while they were shooting Episode 13. Scott Bakula wasn’t the only person who was beat up about the decision from CBS, as executive producer Jan Nash also said she was gutted after learning the news from the Eye Network.

It was painful but it was a blessing to have enough time to make adjustments and a finale that [felt] very true to New Orleans.

The good news is that Season 7 of NCIS: New Orleans ultimately featured 16 episodes. That’s actually a rather short season for network TV, but given the cancellation news came down the pipeline in February and given there were a few more episodes left to film, the writing team figured out a way to wrap the series on a high note and one that would resonate with the fans.

That episode, “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” aired back in May. It also featured a wedding, although Pride and Sasha’s storyline ended on a different note. Over the years, the show had changed and shifted in terms of its characters, but the finale really wanted to focus in on the here and now of what was going on with Season 7--to focus on the future and not the past as the series said its final goodbye to the fanbase.

At the end of the day, some NCIS: New Orleans alums have already moved on to new projects. CCH Pounder, for one example, will be in the upcoming Avatar sequels, but will also be heading back to TV for a new role in The Good Fight. Bakula hasn’t signed on for another role yet, but given how much he seems to love NOLA, maybe something will crop up to film in the area. We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, fall TV is getting back into production, with a slew of shows that were renewed -- including Law & Order: Organized Crime and SEAL Team -- already moving forward. To see when your favorites that weren’t cancelled are coming back, take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule.

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