‘NCIS: Hawai’i’: LeVar Burton Speaks on ‘Anxiety’ of Directing an Episode

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Want some football and a dose of NCIS: Hawai’i with a dash of LeVar Burton?

CBS tinkered with its prime-time lineup for this coming Sunday. The network already had a double-header featuring two new episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.

But first, there will be an hour of NCIS: Hawai’i. It should catch some of what is expected to be a huge audience from the AFC Divisional playoff game between Buffalo and Kansas City.

And this NCIS: Hawai’i episode is a special one. LeVar Burton is directing it. The hour has a simple name — Spies, Part 1. Part 2 follows in the normal Monday time slot for NCIS: Hawai’i.

Karen Neal/CBS

Burton Shot This NCIS: Hawai’i Episode Last November

Burton sat down with TV Insider to talk about his Hawai’i debut. He’s not new to the NCIS franchise having worked on NCIS: New Orleans. The legendary star from Roots and Star Trek: Next Generation even directed an episode of JAG, the series that spawned NCIS.

Burton shot Spies in Hawaii in November. And he’s cool with a football audience possibly staying for his episode.

“Isn’t that cool? I love that,” Burton told the outlet. ” ‘Cause I’m gonna be watching the game so I don’t have to do anything. I don’t even have to change the channel. We’ll just roll right into it.”

He said there was little stress directing in Hawaii.

“I think for me, the biggest [one] was the anxiety of a new cast and a new crew,” Burton said. “There’s always the first day of school, ‘how am I gonna fit in?’ sort of feelings that we all experience.”

Burton said NCIS: Hawai’i gave him all the“all the resources that you need.” That made” doing the job so much more enjoyable, especially when you’re working with some of the most talented professionals in the industry.

“I’ve been doing this a long time. And this crew on NCIS: Hawai’i, they’re not only well trained, they are really proud motion picture professionals, and I don’t have higher praise for people in this industry.”

So what’s Spies about? Let’s go to CBS for the summary tease. “When NCIS investigates the mysterious death of a Navy engineer, Joseph Chan, they learn the last person he met with was his colleague, Maggie Shaw (Julie White), Jane’s mentor and friend, who’s been kidnapped. Also, David Sola (Beulah Koale), a New Zealand intelligence service case officer arrives in Hawai’i, following a lead that connects Joseph’s death to a Chinese black op secret agent.”

Karen Neal/CBS

Former Hawaii Five-0 Star Appears in Spies 1 and 2

Here’s why Beulah Koale sounds familiar. The New Zealand actor loves to appear in shows based in Hawaii. Koale played Junior Reigns for three seasons on the reboot of Hawaii Five-0. He also reprised the character on an episode of the revival of Magnum PI.

Julie White also is returning to play Maggie Shaw. She’s been on the show twice in its inaugural season. So Spies 1 and 2 will be her third and fourth. Fans probably know her from the sitcom Grace Under Fire or maybe for her recurring role on Law & Order: SVU.

And, remember to check out part 2, Monday night. CBS initially was going to stretch out the two-part feature by a month because of the Winter Olympics hiatus. We’re glad the story won’t linger.

Outsider.com