‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Is Officially Underway After a Traditional Blessing — Everything We Know About the Pilot

NCIS: Hawai’i is finishing up pre-production on the island of Oahu and has started to film. But, only after a traditional Hawaiian blessing took place. The first filming locations have been revealed, plus director Larry Teng has been open about understanding his responsibility to the Hawaiian community.

Here is everything we know about the NCIS: Hawai’i pilot so far.

Vanessa Lachey on the red carpet at the 45th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 2018
‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ lead Vanessa Lachey | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Vanessa Lachey will star as Jane Tennant on ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’

NCIS: Hawai’i will feature new faces in the franchise, with Vanessa Lachey leading the team as Special Agent In Charge Jane Tennant. According to Lachey, she’s not taking lightly the fact that she’s the first female lead in the NCIS franchise. She says she’s excited to bring a different layer to the role. And, she hopes to inspire the next generation of young girls and women.

“My character Jane Tennant is Special Agent in Charge of NCIS. She’s the mother of a 15-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. And, that is real life. Juggling life, and love, and work,” Lachey said in a first-look trailer.

The spinoff will have ‘all kinds of inclusion

In addition to Lachey, producers have cast other series regulars. They include Yasmine Al-Bustami as junior NCIS team member Lucy, Jason Antoon as Cyber Intelligent Specialist and Hawaii Expert Ernie, Noah Mills as Jesse, a former homicide detective who is Tennant’s confidante, Tori Anderson as Agent Kate Whistler, and Kian Talan as Jane’s son Alex.

When it comes to the extras, Hawaii casting directors stayed local in the Hawaiian Islands. Shayne Hartigan of Alessi Hartigan Casting told Hawaii News Now that the spinoff will have “all kinds of inclusion.”

“I’m so excited. We really want to get all, all kinds of inclusion in on this project, so of course, you know, the military, the HPD presence, but also the local community and shop owners and restaurateurs and anybody possible,” Hartigan said.

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ began filming after a special Hawaiian blessing

The local Hawaiian culture will be a big part of NCIS: Hawai’i, but not just on screen. According to a tweet from Reel News Hawaii, they didn’t begin filming the new series until after production receives a traditional Hawaiian blessing.

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“With pre-production wrapping up on “NCIS: Hawai’i”, sources say filming will get started this week following a traditional Hawaiian blessing on Wednesday at a location on Oahu’s North Shore. Teng has been back on the island for a while getting ready,” the tweet read.

Filming locations have been marked

The first filming location for NCIS: Hawai’i has been revealed thanks to parking signs near Camp Erdman. In a second tweet, Reel News Hawaii posted pics of the location in Mokuleia on the island of Oahu.

The “No Parking” signs revealed that the first scenes of the new spinoff began filming on June 14. They stayed in that location until June 17. NCIS: Hawai’i has a production base on the island of Oahu thanks to the 10-year run of Hawaii: Five-0.

Larry Teng will direct the ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ pilot

Director Larry Teng has an overall deal with CBS and has worked in the past on NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii: Five-0. He will be in the director’s chair for the NCIS: Hawai’i pilot. And he says he feels a responsibility to make sure the people in the local community are properly represented.

“Now that I’m back (in Hawaii), I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure that the community here, the people, the crew, that they’re all represented properly, you know?” Teng told Daily Hawaii. “

(Hawaii) just did 10 years of a cop show with two white leads here. You’re going into your fourth year of ‘Magnum’ with a Latino lead. And now we’re coming in, we’ve got two Asian leads. I think it’s important that the crew can work on something that they kind of get behind.”

NCIS: Hawai’i will air on Monday nights this fall on CBS.