Veteran television producer Gary Glasberg, who served as showrunner on the hit CBS series NCIS, died on Wednesday. He was only 50 years old. He had been a writer and producer in television since the early 1990s.
Here is a look at his life and career. This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.
1. CBS Says Glasberg Died in His Sleep
CBS told Variety that the New York City native died in Los Angeles on Wednesday in his sleep.
“Gary was our rock, our cheerleader, our team captain. He inspired us with his leadership, his creative instincts and keen insight,” the NCIS cast said in a statement released by CBS. “NCIS will not be the same without him, and each of us will miss his smiling face and unwavering humor, which lifted us every day.”
Under Glasberg’s guidance since 2011, NCIS became the most-watched drama in the U.S., averaging 20.4 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The show is now in its 14th season.
Former NCIS actress Cote de Pablo said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
I worked with Gary Glasberg for years during my time at NCIS. I just found out about his passing a couple of minutes ago. The news is shocking and sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and his two kids, with the cast and crew…I will remember him by his great big smile.
2. Glasberg’s Wife is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer Mimi Schmir
Glasberg is survived by his wife of two decades, Mimi Schmir. She has a Primetime Emmy nomination from 2006 as an executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy. She wrote for the show from 2005 to 2006. She also worked on Party of Five, Shark, Felicity and Touched by an Angel.
Glasberg is also survived by their two sons, his father and a sister.
3. Glasberg Started His Career Working on Kids Shows Like ‘Rugrats’ and ‘Power Rangers’
Although Glasberg became better known for his more recent work on adult dramas, he began his career in Hollywood in animation and children’s shows. His earliest credit as writer is an episode of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. He also wrote four episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
In the mid-1990s, he changed his career path and in 2001, he was hired to write for Crossing Jordan. He also worked as an executive producer on Bones, Shark and The Mentalist.
4. He Also Helped Create and Develop ‘NCIS: New Orleans’
In 2014, Glasberg helped CBS launch NCIS: New Orleans, the second NCIS spin-off. The show stars Scott Bakula and is now in its third season.
CBS had hoped Glasberg would continue to make contributions to the network. In May 2016, Deadline reported that he signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios to develop more projects.
5. He Did Not Think ‘NCIS’ Would Change Too Much Without Michael Weatherly
NCIS is now in season 14 and experienced a major cast change when Michael Weatherly left the show to star in Bull. In an interview with Deadline in May, Glasberg was confident that the show could survive without Weatherly. As long as Mark Harmon remained, the show could continue.
“I still have Mark Harmon, and the family is still in place,” Glasberg explained. “We’re actually excited as writers to have some new perspectives, to have some new characters come in, to be able switch it up and change things 14 seasons into a television show. It’s fun for us. And to know that the foundation doesn’t change but the opportunities continue to grow and are limitless, that’s fun for us.”
“It takes a lot of people for Michael Weatherly’s exit,” Glasberg told Parade. “It’s not so much about replacing Michael, it’s about moving forward. I really wanted to do something different and something brash, and expanding on our group made a lot of sense. It’s new personalities and new characters, and even though the mix gets a little bit larger, it’s more fun for us.”
Weathelry paid tribute to Glasberg on Twitter:
Here are other reactions from Hollywood: