"NCIS" star Mark Harmon is an executive producer on the spin-off along with "NCIS" executive producer Gary Glasberg. The pair were discussing an arc set in New Orleans on "NCIS" when Harmon said, "These aren't sweeps episodes, that's a series," Glasberg recalled.
The spin-off will use the same military backdrop as the new team covers cases along the Gulf coast all the way over to Texas.
"The one thing that will really vary is Washington handles bigger, large-scope international instances but that's not to say they don't encounter stories down there as well and have to call Washington for input," Glasberg said.
There are already plans for Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum to cross over to "NCIS: New Orleans."
Bakula said he's not counting on the new show to become a hit but he is hopeful.
"We have big shoes to fill, big footprints in the sand to follow," he said. "With the characters being developed for us we can invest and get an audience to invest with us and we can continue this potentially great partnership of a new show. The ball being handed off is a perfect spiral and there's pressure that comes with that. Everyone's talking about, 'Imagine what it will be like to be on the air for 11 years,' and I say, 'Hold on!' We have to earn our place. It's not a given."