ART

Diona Reasonover's Comedic Background Makes Her Perfect for 'NCIS' and Kasie Hines

I knew the actor was the right choice for "NCIS" when she asked to say "hi" to her mother at the end of our interview.

NCIS fans are going to have to get used to a new forensic scientist working with the team and in Abby's lab—because it will always be her lab—in NCIS Season 16. That won't be easy.

I'll be the first to admit it: As a fan of the CBS procedural drama from the backdoor pilot of JAG that introduced the series in 2003, I've had a soft spot for the cast and characters who appeared in those two episodes. Mark Harmon's Gibbs. Michael Weatherly's Tony. Pauley Perrette's Abby. David McCallum's Ducky. Other team members can come and go—and have—but no one can replace those four.

Only two of them are left following Weatherly and Perrette's departures in Seasons 13 and 15, respectively. It may be hard to imagine anyone but Abby in her lab, but there will be a new forensic scientist in Season 16: Diona Reasonover's Kasie Hines.

Kasie appeared last season as Ducky's graduate student helping him with his book and with her background in forensic science, the team turned to her when they needed someone in the lab. The series needs someone who brings levity to the team—you can't go from music blaring, happy Abby to a deadly serious scientist—and Reasonover's background makes her the right fit.

The actor has been active with Upright Citizen's Brigade (UCB) Theater, one of the largest and most respected improve schools in the country, and is an alumna of the CBS Diversity Showcase. "The showcase was about putting up a lot of sketches, and maybe you didn't exactly know how the sketch was going to work," Reasonover told me. "There were still some beats that weren't exactly perfected, but it didn't matter."

"You had to go in there and you had to sell it," she continued. "And you had to do a dozen new sketches every week."

That experience taught her about working in television. "You get in there, and you do a new script," she said. "Now, luckily, in this case, the scripts are great, the beats are already worked out, and they're funny and touching, but it doesn't make the time frame any different. You get in there, you do the work, you commit to it, and then you move on to the next one."

In the 10 minutes I spoke with Reasonover about joining NCIS and her character, I could tell she has the energy and humor the show needs for Kasie. After all, when I asked if there was anything she wanted to add at the end, she asked, "Can I say, 'Hi, Mom?'"