As one of the most-watched shows on TV, NCIS: New Orleans fans are used to seeing a lot of big draw. But the drama behind the scenes is heating up as well, and it’s been announced that the show has removed former showrunner Brad Kern from said position in the aftermath of two misconduct investigations that went public. Executive producer Chris Silber has been given the opportunity to step up as the new showrunner for Season 5.
News of Brad Kern’s ousting at NCIS: New Orleans can be viewed as both shocking and non-shocking. This definitely isn’t the first time Kern’s name has come up where backstage problems are concerned. It was revealed near the end of 2017 that Kern had been investigated by the studio’s Human Resources team on two different occasions after stepping in as showrunner. Complaints claimed that Kern sexually harassed and discriminated against female employees, and that he was known to make racist comments. Though neither investigation resulted in anything damning, Kern reportedly went through sensitivity training classes, and it’s said he hasn’t had any official complaints against him since then, according to Salon.
Because there haven’t been any new complaints, the timing of Brad Kern’s demotion is curious, since there wouldn’t seem to be newly pressing reasons for CBS to remove him as showrunner now. But it was just last week when NCIS: New Orleans brought Season 4 to a close in an extremely hectic way — no spoilers, but Pride needs help! — so it’s possible the network wanted to hold off until the season’s dust had settled before making things official.
For what it’s worth, it was reported that Kern’s NCIS: New Orleans contract was expiring with the end of Season 4, so he possibly wouldn’t have continued with the show anyway. But then it was also claimed that Kern was still retaining some duties with the show outside of being the showrunner, so we’ll have to see how things shake out in the coming months. CBS is already dealing with the mini-scandal surrounding Pauley Perrette’s NCIS exit, which the actress has partly blamed on alleged physical abuse in the workplace.
This is definitely big news for Chris Silber, who has been a part of the NCIS: New Orleans team since joining the show in 2015. Having entered into a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios recently, Silber could very easily keep this sweet spot growing, assuming he stays out of the kind of trouble that Kern got himself into. And it’s a fitting role, since Silber actually got his start writing for NCIS years ago. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep all the characters together for a full season.
NCIS: New Orleans is currently on its summer hiatus, but it’ll be back on CBS’ primetime schedule in the fall. Head to our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are popping up in the meantime.