NCIS: New Orleans saw the return of actor Michael Nouri on Tuesday night. But there was a twist. Nouri wasn’t playing the same character that he was recognizable for on the NCIS cast. So what’s going on here?
Nouri was one of the first faces seen during a new episode called Conviction. His character is a defense attorney for Eddie Barrett, who was on trial for the murder of Christopher Lasalle.
Barrett, who is played by Eddie Cahill on the show, had an alibi to present from the day that Lasalle was murdered. That episode, which was the last one where Lucas Black appeared as Lasalle, won’t be forgotten by viewers anytime soon.
But back to this new episode, where some fans were dismayed by the revelation that one actor (Nouri) was playing two different characters in the same NCIS timeline.
— NCIS: New Orleans (@NCISNewOrleans) November 27, 2019
Michael Nouri as Mossad Director Eli David on NCIS
Eli David was a pretty important character during his appearances on NCIS. He was the father of Ziva David (played by Cote de Pablo) and the grandfather to Tali David-DiNozzo. Not easily forgettable. But the character died a number of seasons ago during an episode that aired in 2013.
Now, actor Michael Nouri has returned to the NCIS universe, but this time on a show (NOLA) that started after Eli David had already been killed off. But why?
Character actors make their livings off of appearing on numerous shows in singular episodes or story arcs called recurring characters. Nouri is one of those actors. He has also appeared on Yellowstone, American Crime Story, Blue Bloods, Chicago P.D., House, and many others.
Shows that are linked, like the three NCIS show or the trio of Chicago-based shows on NBC, share a universe where characters can cross over.
Mark Harmon, who plays Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the parent show NCIS has also appeared on NOLA. Rocky Carroll, who plays NCIS Director Leon Vance, has appeared on NCIS and both spin-offs. It helps keep continuity among the shows.
Fan response to Michael Nouri on NCIS: NOLA
A lot of viewers of the NCIS shows took to social media to speak out about this particular casting choice on Tuesday night.
@NCISNewOrleans Eli David is reincarnated as a lawyer….I've missed Michael Nouri
— Erin Haines (@ErinHaines10) November 27, 2019
the defense attorney on ncis: new orleans is played by michael nouri but he can't exist in this universe bc eli david exists in this universe. unless he has a doppelganger.
— faith ˚* ❀ (@faithlantisxx) November 27, 2019
— Jessica & Savannah (@jessipope323) November 27, 2019
@NCISNewOrleans I need an explanation, Michael Nouri played Mossad Director Eli David on @NCIS_CBS and now he is a lawyer. These are on the same timeline. Rocky Carroll is playing the Director on both! This is not right. @CBS
— Ed Pescatore (@midnite630) November 27, 2019
There are a few secrets to the show that don’t get talked about a lot and it involves the casting and recasting of the same people. This isn’t the first time this has happened, as several times actors and actresses with smaller parts have been used again within the NCIS universe.
The parent show has even brought back the same actor to play a different role, years after first appearing on the show. The hope, usually, is that viewers won’t notice that someone killed in Season 2 during 10 seconds of screen time has later returned in a new part for 10 more seconds a few years later. Different looks and accents help with it.
With Michael Nouri, it’s a bit different, though, because, despite his change of accents for the two roles, he is still linked to one of the most beloved characters that have been on NCIS (Ziva David). People are going to notice.
This isn’t the only thing that NCIS: New Orleans viewers are upset with. Fans frustrated about the move in time slots that the show is about to make have been very vocal on social media about that as well.
NCIS: New Orleans airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on CBS.