‘NCIS: New Orleans’: CCH Pounder is the Real MVP, According to Fans

Over the last five years, NCIS: New Orleans has managed to become a fan-favorite among the CBS lineup. While leading man, Supervisory Agent Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride (Scott Bakula), is the man in command, it’s Jefferson Parish coroner, Dr. Loretta Wade, played by 2020 NAACP Image Awards nominee, CCH Pounder, the characters count on most.

CCH Pounder is an ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ original cast member

'NCIS: New Orleans'
CCH Pounder as Dr. Loretta Wade and Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride | Sam Lothridge/CBS via Getty Images

Since the 2014 NCIS: New Orleans inception, CCH Pounder has been right there. Even in the 2014 two-part NCIS backdoor pilot for the spin-off, Pounder’s calm cadence graced the small screen.

Many believe Bakula’s Pride to be the leader of the NOLA crew, but Pounder’s skill and expertise have grounded the team at the times they needed it most.

As the Big Easy’s resident medical examiner, Dr. Wade has the responsibility of determining the cause of death to help Pride navigate the crime and direct his team. Without Loretta, some might say Pride wouldn’t have a starting point at all.

It may seem as though the part was created specifically with Pounder in mind, but when it all began she didn’t think the spin-off would last.

“I’ll be honest. I just didn’t think that CBS could sustain yet another NCIS,” she previously told AARP. But the show has lasted and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Pounder’s 2020 NAACP Image Awards nomination isn’t her first

Among the many awards and nominations on Pounder’s “accomplishment list,” she’s had Emmy nominations, Behind the Voice Actors Awards (with two wins), and more.

It probably won’t surprise fans of NCIS: New Orleans to know that Pounder’s received 13 NAACP Image Awards nominations in the past. The accomplished actress garnered the first, “Oustanding Actress in a Motion Picture,” way back in 1988 for her role in Out of Rosenheim.

During her tenure within the NCIS franchise, Pounder’s NAACP Image Awards nominations came in 2017 and 2019 for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.”

We argue she’s no supporting actress, but the sole reason Pride’s NOLA team can do their jobs.

Fans react to Pounder’s nomination

Of course, with a nomination like this, fans are chiming in to show their support for Pounder.

“Love her character and the way she portrays her. No idea who else was nominated but I congratulate her on the nomination and wish her all the best,” one viewer tweeted. “Massive congratulations and well deserved, huge fan of her character,” another added.

“Congrats CCH!!! Very well deserved!!! I love your role on @NCISNewOrleans Can’t wait for the show to return for the spring! #ncisnola,” one more echoed.

The sentiments are the same on the official NCIS: New Orleans Instagram post with 90 comments and nearly 4,000 likes (and counting).

The fans have spoken. The second half of NCIS: New Orleans should have more Dr. Loretta Wade, please and thank you.

NCIS: New Orleans returns to CBS on Sunday, February 16.