Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

By Nate Millado

Mardi Gras, as we know it, is off—sadly, another casualty of the coronavirus. But just because there won't be the usual parties and floats parading down Bourbon Street doesn't mean you still can't laissez les bon temps roule (let the good times roll)! Since NCIS: New Orleans is shot in New Orleans, you can feel the energy and authenticity of the city in every frame. So here's your chance to visit the Big Easy without leaving your living room couch. Celebrate Fat Tuesday with these 10 episodes (beads not included).

NCIS: New Orleans airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS and streams on CBS All Access.

"Something in the Air, Part I" (Season 8, Episode 1)

The Tru Tone bar exterior

Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride outside his Tru Tone bar.

Photo Credit: Sam Lothridge/CBS.

NCIS: New Orleans fans know it as Tru Tone, but the exterior shots of Dwayne Pride's (Scott Bakula) bar is actually that of the R Bar, a real-life local hangout inside the Royal Street Inn that boasts an expansive beer list, a rocking jukebox, friendly bar dogs, Monday night haircuts-and-shots, and Friday night crawfish boils.

WATCH: Stream "Something in the Air, Part I" On CBS All Access

"Le Carnaval de la Mort" (Season 1, Episode 15)

Lucas Black begs for beads at a Mardi Gras street parade

Daryl Mitchell as Investigative Computer Specialist Patton Plame and Lucas Black as Special Agent Christopher LaSalle.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

A whopping 25 million pounds of beads are thrown from floats each year—even Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) is seen here showing a little skin for some of that carnival currency. Of course, it's all fun and games until someone gets murdered: In this episode, the NCIS team investigates what Mardi Gras parades and parties led to a petty officer's untimely death.

WATCH: Stream "Le Carnaval de la Mort" On CBS All Access

"A New Dawn" (Season 4, Episode 14)

Dwayne Pride and the NCIS: New Orleans team.

Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride, CCH Pounder as Dr. Loretta Wade, Vanessa Ferlito as FBI Special Agent Tammy Gregorio, Lucas Black as Special Agent Christopher LaSalle, Rob Kerkovich as Forensic Scientist Sebastian Lund, and Daryl Chill Mitchell as Patton Plame.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

No Fat Tuesday feast is complete without a king cake: a traditional purple, green, and gold braided pastry with a small baby figurine hidden inside (luck and prosperity to whoever finds it). The NCIS team dives into one after cracking the case-of-the-week: the murder of a petty officer in town to help a refugee family being recruited by terrorists. Also, Wade (CCH Pounder) works on the special election campaign for Mayor Zahra Taylor that takes place on Mardi Gras.

WATCH: Stream "A New Dawn" On CBS All Access

"Father's Day" (Season 2, Episode 14)

Steven Weber's Mayor Douglas Hamilton

Mayor Douglas Hamilton (Steven Weber) kicks off a Mardi Gras party.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

"New York has New Year's Eve, and Boston St. Pat's has its charms," Mayor Douglas Hamilton (Steven Weber) tells rich revelers at a Mardi Gras gala. "But no one, no one, knows how to party like we do." Too bad an unknown assailant crashes the party and kidnaps the slimy politician! Across town, Special Agent Pride opens his bar to the public with a Fat Tuesday party, but his celebration is also cut short when he's knocked out and held hostage along with the mayor.

WATCH: Stream "Father's Day" On CBS All Access

"Treasure Hunt" (Season 4, Episode 17)

Rob Kerkovich and Vanessa Ferlito's characters at a cemetery

Rob Kerkovich as Forensic Scientist Sebastian Lund and Vanessa Ferlito as FBI Special Agent Tammy Gregorio.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

NOLA's known for its breathtaking above-ground tombs, where famous folks like Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy are laid to rest. Catch a glimpse of these unique cemeteries in episodes like "Treasure Hunt," in which the NCIS team investigates the murder of a Navy captain searching for a valuable 200-year-old marble and gold fleur-de-lis during the annual Contraband Days pirate festival.

WATCH: Stream "Treasure Hunt" On CBS All Access

"Help Wanted" (Season 2, Episode 22)

Chef Leah Chase gives Agent Pride a taste of her food

Chef Leah Chase as herself and Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

Cajun and Creole cuisine are a big part of Crescent City culture (we can practically smell the jambalaya and gumbo right now!) Even Pride himself is an avid cook! Local culinary icons like Leah Chase and John Besh guest star as themselves in this delicious installment of NCIS: New Orleans, in which a Navy culinary specialist is targeted while visiting her family's French Quarter restaurant.

WATCH: Stream "Help Wanted" On CBS All Access

"Insane in the Membrane" (Season 2, Episode 6)

The NCIS team at the annual Red Dress Run

The NCIS team (CCH Pounder, Rob Kerkovich, Scott Bakula, and Shalita Grant) participate in the annual Red Dress Run.

Photo: Skip Bolen/CBS.

Ever wonder what Agent Pride looks like in a dress? (Surprisingly good, actually!) The NCIS crew convenes at Louis Armstrong Park for the annual Red Dress Run, but their participation is cut short when a petty officer is found dead in the French Quarter from a drug overdose. For the uninitiated, the Red Dress Run is held every year on the second Saturday in August. Runners, clad in crimson-colored getups with drinks in hand, paint the town red in the name of charity!

WATCH: Stream "Insane in the Membrane" On CBS All Access

"Second Line" (Season 2, Episode 20)

\u200bA traditional second line funeral possession

A traditional second line funeral possession.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

The NCIS team investigates the murder of a Navy Lieutenant during a French Quarter second line funeral procession, a New Orleans tradition that celebrates the recently deceased with a musical street parade.

WATCH: Stream "Second Line" On CBS All Access

"The Order of the Mongoose" (Season 6, Episode 8)

\u200bRock band The Revivalists

Rock band The Revivalists and Rob Kerkovich as Forensic Scientist Sebastian Lund.

Photo Credit: Sam Lothridge/CBS.

If you've been missing live concerts like the rest of us, NCIS: New Orleans has the next best thing: musical performances! This rocking episode features The Revivalists, but tons of artists have dropped by throughout the series' run, including Sheryl Crow and Gary Clark Jr.!

WATCH: Stream "The Order of the Mongoose" On CBS All Access

"Pandora's Box, Part II" (Season 3, Episode 14)

Pride, Gregorio, and Torres

Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride, Vanessa Ferlito as FBI Special Agent Tammy Gregorio, and Wilmer Valderrama as NCIS Special Agent Nick Torres.

Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

Crossovers are always a rollicking good time, and this Mardi Gras-themed conclusion to an NCIS two-parter is no exception! NCIS agents McGee (Sean Murray) and Torres (Wilson Valderrama) travel to New Orleans to partner with Pride and his team in the search for a missing homeland security theoretical terror playbook.

WATCH: Stream "Pandora's Box, Part II" On CBS All Access

Photo Credit: Erik Voake/CBS.

By Nate Millado

Good things come to those who wait. It's been a longer-than-usual layoff between seasons, but starting Nov. 5, CBS rolls out its pandemic-delayed premieres. Some of your returning favorites tackle timely issues, like COVID-19 (NCIS: New Orleans, Bull) and racial injustice (The Neighborhood, All Rise, S.W.A.T.).

Others deal with major life changes (Young Sheldon says hello to college). And king of comedy Chuck Lorre's latest, B Positive, joins a laugh-out-loud comedy block on Thursdays.

Here's a preview of all 15 series premiering in November—and when to tune in!

Young Sheldon—Season 4 premieres Thursday, Nov. 5

Sheldon in a blue cap and gown at his graduation ceremony

Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) graduates from high school!

Photo Credit: CBS.

Sheldon (Iain Armitage) is college-bound! But not to CalTech—at least not yet. Instead, the boy genius will finish his undergrad degree closer to home—at East Texas Tech. Sheldon had to convince his mom in the Season 3 finale.

George Sr. (Lance Barber) drew up a game plan to get Mary (Zoe Perry) on board: shooting a "Why Sheldon Cooper Should Go to College" video (an early nod to the "Fun with Flags" web series Sheldon later hosts with Amy on The Big Bang Theory). In the Season 4 premiere, Sheldon breaks down when he realizes he may not be ready for college.

A new season of Young Sheldon premieres Thursday, Nov. 5 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

B Positive—New series premieres Thursday, Nov. 5

Gina and Drew reconnect

Annaleigh Ashford as Gina and Thomas Middleditch as Drew.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

Newly divorced dad Drew (Thomas Middleditch) desperately needs a donor kidney. Enter Gina (Annaleigh Ashford), a rough-around-the-edges blast from his past who volunteers hers.

B Positive premieres Thursday, Nov. 5 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Mom—Season 8 premieres Thursday, Nov. 5

Bonnie and friends have a sleepover

Pictured (L-R): Jaime Pressly as Jill, Kristen Johnston as Tammy, Allison Janney as Bonnie, Mimi Kennedy as Marjorie, and Beth Hall as Wendy.

Photo Credit: CBS.

After seven seasons, star Anna Faris decided to exit the long-running mom-com. So what'll happen to Christy Plunkett? Find out in the Season 8 premiere. Also: When Bonnie (Allison Janney) invites the ladies over for a slumber party, childhood games reveal adult problems.

A new season of Mom premieres Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

NCIS: Los Angeles—Season 12 premieres Sunday, Nov. 8

Special Agent Sam Hanna and Special Agent G. Callen.

LL Cool J (Special Agent Sam Hanna) and Chris O'Donnell (Special Agent G. Callen).

Photo Credit: CBS.

A Russian bomber goes missing while flying over U.S. soil in the episode titled, "The Bear." Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Sam (LL COOL J) head to the desert to track down the aircraft and secure its weapons and intel before the Russians on board destroy the plane. Meanwhile, Hetty (Linda Hunt) puts Nell (Renée Felice Smith) in charge of a cryptic assignment.

A new season of NCIS: Los Angeles premieres Sunday, Nov. 8 at 8:30 PM ET/8:00 PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access.

NCIS: New Orleans—Season 7 premieres Sunday, Nov. 8

Dwayne Pride wears a mask at the bar

Chelsea Field as Rita Devereaux and Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride.

Photo: Sam Lothridge/CBS.

Laissez les bons temps rouler because Pride and the team are back in the Big Easy!

As you can see from a masked Scott Bakula, NCIS: New Orleans will address the pandemic in the premiere. Pride sends Tammy (Vanessa Ferlito) and Carter (Charles Michael Davis) to investigate a suspicious death aboard a humanitarian ship offshore, where they learn that some crew members are infected with COVID-19. Also, Wade (CCH Pounder) is overwhelmed by the high volume in the morgue due to the deadly disease.

A new season of NCIS: New Orleans premieres Sunday, Nov. 8 at 9:30 PM ET/9:00 PM PT on CBS and CBS All Access.

S.W.A.T.—Season 4 premieres Wednesday, Nov. 11

Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson talks to his teenage charge

Shemar Moore as Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson and Deshae Frost as Darryl.

Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita.

Get ready for a double dose of Hondo (Shemar Moore) when S.W.A.T. returns with a two-hour premiere!

The first installment takes on racial tension between law enforcement and the Black community, flashing back to '92 L.A. following the Rodney King verdict. In the second hour, team S.W.A.T. goes on a stakeout for the CIA to confirm whether an international crime lord has resurfaced after being off-grid for years. Also, Tan's (David Lim) mother is a victim of racial discrimination, and Hondo encounters his ex Nichelle (Rochelle Aytes) for the first time since their breakup.

A new season of S.W.A.T. premieres Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

The Unicorn—Season 2 premieres Thursday, Nov. 12

\u200bWalton Goggins as Wade

Walton Goggins as Wade.

Photo Credit: Erik Voake/CBS.

For the uninitiated, a "unicorn" is a perfect guy: employed, attractive, and with a proven track record of commitment.

Widowed Wade (Walton Goggins) waded back into the dating pool during the first season. But in the Season 2 premiere, he makes an instant connection with a mystery woman he briefly meets in a parking lot—played by his Justified costar Natalie Zea! While Wade is determined to find whoever-she-was again, his daughter Natalie (Makenzie Moss) tries to convince him she's old enough to get her ears pierced. Also: Michelle (Maya Lynne Robinson) awaits her fate from the colleges she applied to for her business degree.

A new season of The Unicorn premieres Thursday, Nov. 12 at 9:30/8:30c on CBS and CBS All Access. Catch up now on CBS All Access.

The Neighborhood—Season 3 premieres Monday, Nov. 16

Calvin, Tina, Gemma, Dave and Marty

Cedric the Entertainer (Calvin Butler), Tichina Arnold (Tina Butler), Beth Behrs (Gemma Johnson), Max Greenfield (Dave Johnson), and Marcel Spears (Marty Butler).

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

The Neighborhood doesn't shy away from timely issues—like white privilege in its first season finale, "Welcome to the Conversation." Now the sitcom is addressing the Black Lives Matter movement.

For its Season 3 premiere, "Welcome to the Movement," the Butlers (Tichina Arnold and Cedric the Entertainer) and the Johnsons (Beth Behrs and Max Greenfield) unite when a member of their community is the victim of racial injustice.

A new season of The Neighborhood premieres Monday, Nov. 16, at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Bob ♥ Abishola—Season 2 premieres Monday, Nov. 16

Abishola and Bob on a park bench for their coffee date

Folake Olowofoyeku as Abishola and Billy Gardell as Bob.

Photo Credit: CBS.

First comes love, then comes marriage? Season 1 tracked the unlikely courtship between sock salesman Bob (Billy Gardell) and Nigerian nurse Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku).

In the Season 2 premiere, Bob enlists the help of Uncle Tunde (Barry Shabaka Henley) to buy an engagement ring. But his plans to propose might be on ice when Abishola thinks traditional marriage is more trouble than it's worth.

A new season of Bob ♥️ Abishola premieres Monday, Nov. 16 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.

All Rise—Season 2 premieres Monday, Nov. 16

Lola Carmichael is detained in front of a cop car

Boone Platt as Deputy Wilson and Simone Missick as Lola Carmichael.

Photo Credit: Erik Voake/CBS.

Lola (Simone Missick) is detained during a protest while defending a teen girl, amid an escalating encounter with the cops. Through a series of flashbacks, details emerge surrounding that fateful night that'll have long-lasting effects on Lola, Mark (Wilson Bethel), Emily (Jessica Camacho), and Luke (J. Alex Brinson). Also, to help with the court backlog due to closures caused by COVID-19, Lola hires an outspoken clerk Ness (Samantha Marie Ware) who clashes with Sherri (Ruthie Ann Miles).

A new season of All Rise premieres Monday, Nov. 16 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Bull—Season 5 premieres Monday, Nov. 16

Dr. Jason Bull and Taylor Rentzel

Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull and MacKenzie Meehan as Taylor Rentzel.

Photo Credit: David M. Russell/CBS.

When we last saw Bull (Michael Weatherly) and his group of experts at Trial Analysis Corporation, they helped Taylor (MacKenzie Meehan) bring a civil suit against the woman who killed her best friend in a hit-and-run. In its fifth season premiere, the TAC team struggles to adjust to a virtual court system as they ride out the NYC shutdown due to the pandemic.

A new season of Bull premieres Monday, Nov. 16 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.

NCIS—Season 18 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17

NCIS special agents

Victoria Platt as NCIS Special Agent Veronica "Ronnie" Tyler, Wilmer Valderrama as NCIS Special Agent Nicholas "Nick" Torres, Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

TV's most watched entertainment program returns for its 18th season! Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Fornell (Joe Spano) try to track down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to Fornell's daughter. Also, the team deals with the case of a missing cadaver from the NCIS autopsy room.

A new season of NCIS premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access. Catch up now on CBS All Access.

FBI—Season 3 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17

Special agents of the FBI

Zeeko Zaki as Special Agent Omar Adom 'OA' Zidan, Josh Segarra as Nestor Vertiz and Missy Peregrym as Special Agent Maggie Bell.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/ CBS.

FBI is back—and so is Maggie (Missy Peregrym) from her undercover assignment. The team welcomes a new member, Special Agent Tiffany Wallace (Katherine Renee Turner) as they search for killers who orchestrated a mass shooting at a media company. OA's (Zeeko Zaki) personal connection with the case threatens to cloud his judgement.

A new season of FBI premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

FBI: Most Wanted—Season 2 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17

Special agents holding guns

Kellan Lutz as Special Agent Kenny Crosby and Julian McMahon as Supervisory Special Agent Jess LaCroix.

Photo Credit: Mark Schäfer/CBS.

A hacker triggers a car crash that kills a family of three. The team races against the clock to hunt him down as his ransom demands escalate—and his chilling final target becomes apparent.

A new season of FBI: Most Wanted premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.

SEAL Team—Season 4 premieres Wednesday, Dec. 2

Bravo Team in a snowy mountain range

AJ Buckley as Sonny Quinn, David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes, and Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser.

Photo Credit: Erik Voake/CBS.

Bravo One himself (David Boreanaz) directed this dramatic opener, the first episode of a two-parter. Bravo Team enters enemy territory in the snowy Spin Ghar Mountain Range to capture Al-Hazred, the leader of a terrorist group and son of the terrorist leader who Jason took down early in his career, a feat that made him Bravo One. When they're attacked, Jason and Cerberus, Bravo's canine member, are separated from the team.

A new season of SEAL Team premieres Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

MacGyver—Season 5 premieres Friday, Dec. 4

Lucas Till as Angus "Mac" MacGyver, Henry Ian Cusick as Russ Taylor.

Photo Credit: Mark Hill/CBS.

First, the good news: The Mac pack is back and has a lead on a woman with vital intel on Codex. Now, the bad news: their target has a new secret identity—and a completely new face! Best of luck to Angus (Lucas Till) and the team, which infiltrates a glam hotel that doubles as an international criminal hideout to track her down.

A new season of MacGyver premieres Friday, Dec. 4 at 8/7c on CBS, Catch up now on CBS All Access.

Magnum P.I.—Season 3 premieres Friday, Dec. 4

\u200bJay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum and Perdita Weeks as Juliet Higgins.

Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum and Perdita Weeks as Juliet Higgins.

Photo Credit: Karen Neal/CBS.

In May's finale, Magnum (Jay Hernandez) made a last-ditch effort to keep Higgins (Perdita Weeks) from having to return to the British Isles. In need of a friend with deep pockets to pay for an expensive immigration lawyer, Magnum hits up his filthy rich boss. The (still-unseen) writer signed Robin's Nest over to Higgins, making her the boss and thus able to stay in the country. In the new season premiere, Magnum's new clients ask him to find their missing brother last seen on the island, Higgins is shot, and TC (Stephen Hill) is abducted!

A new season of Magnum P.I. premieres Friday, Dec. 4 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Blue Bloods—Season 11 premieres Friday, Dec. 4

Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan, Marisa Ramirez as Detective Maria Baez.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS.

The drama addresses police brutality and the pandemic in the episode titled "Triumph Over Trauma." Frank (Tom Selleck) goes head-to-head with City Council Speaker Regina Thomas (The Stand's Whoopi Goldberg) over protests, while Eddie (Vanessa Ray) helps an abrasive woman find her father's body after it was misplaced during the outset of COVID. Elsewhere, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg ) and Baez (Marisa Ramirez) go missing while searching for a killer, so Jamie (Will Estes) and his nephew, Joe (Will Hochman) must team up to find them.

A new season of Blue Bloods premieres Friday, Dec. 4 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access. Catch up now on CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Gordon Lonsdale (Pounder); Ashley Lorraine Photography (Paintings).

By John Griffiths

Sometimes life just is art. Especially if you're estimable actress CCH Pounder, who—after notching a day of playing coroner Dr. Loretta Wade on NCIS: New Orleans—comes home to a vast array of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that adorn her walls, floors, tables, cabinets, counters, and chairs. Some of her chairs are art pieces and presented as such, mounted in all their ornate, colorful glory alongside framed sketches in the star's two-story Big Easy abode.


Acrylic and charcoal on paper artwork by artist Bambo Sibiya.

Street Barbershop (triptych), 2018 by artist Bambo Sibiya. Acrylic and charcoal on paper.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

In her living room can be found two giant wooden statues of Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god who cares for the dead. "I'm really lucky to have high ceilings," a laughing Pounder says of the place she's inhabited since 2017. Back at her former home in L.A., those mega-statues "used to scrape at the top."

Meanwhile her kitchen, she doesn't mind saying, is "jammed" with fantastical Ardmore ceramics—vases, urns, and teapots festooned with tiny tigers and elephants handmade by South African artists. Her overall art collection of more than 500 pieces takes up half her first floor "and three storage rooms outside, too!"


Free Woman Of Color by American artist Pamela Mower-Conner.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

"CC," as she likes to be called, says her favorite type of art is the kind that "tells a story." So her collection is rife with portraitures, many of them of females. "At one point my husband [fellow art-lover Boubacar Koné, who passed away in 2016] said, 'I've only got one wife, but I'm looking at all of these women here—what's going on?!'"


Sculpture by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

First Wife by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

One of her prized pieces, a striking stone bust by the late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson, is titled First Wife. "Her look, at least to me, is very powerful," says Pounder. Outside a bedroom, say hello to a large, heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber. "She says, 'This is a place to sleep in,'" Pounder quips of the piece by Haiti's François Cauvin


Painting of a woman doing laundry by Congolese artist Mayemba.

The Laundress by Congolese artist Mayemba.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's placed Congolese artist Mayemba's The Laundress, a vibrant painting of a young woman mysteriously distracted from her bin of soaking clothes, right beneath a portrait of fearless abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "I recently discovered that [Tubman] became a laundress herself," says a still-surprised Pounder. "After all the running and magnificent kind of cowboying she did, her life settled into a rather quiet—well, I'm assuming quiet—life."


Painting of woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob.

Awake by Nigerian-Brit artist Ndidi Emefiele.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

More personal is the stark Awake, a voyeuristic peek at a woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob. The painting, by Nigerian-Brit Ndidi Emefiele, "speaks to me about my colonial past and Western future and present," says Pounder, who was born in Georgetown, Guyana. "Not that I was eating roasted corn growing up—that's a decidedly African breakfast. But the woman, with her coffee cup, is in this sort of dual world."

Look closely and you'll see a little bird popping out of that cup. Says Pounder with delight: "Birds represent messengers."


Painting of heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber.

Sleep by Haitian artist Francois Cauvin.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

The worldly CCH (Carol Christine Hilaria) Pounder, who attended boarding school in England and studied acting at New York's Ithaca College, almost opted for a painting career herself. "I was conflicted with these two great, measly paying art forms!" Nabbing the role of a nurse in 1979's All That Jazz sealed her fate. (Later came an Emmy nomination for The Shield.)

So, to satisfy her other yen, she took to throwing dinner parties to trumpet talented starving-artist pals in her cramped apartments (first in NYC, then L.A.). "I would call my friends and say, 'Come and get a painting!'"


Painting of black women by artist Mouhamadou Dia. \u200b

Sous Sous by Senegalese artist Mouhamadou Dia.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's long been most keen on contemporary African art. "I like works by artists that reflect the state of the world that they're in. Western art is floating off into the interior world and talking about highly intellectual things—which does not interest me at the moment."

Pounder definitely has an eye. She's helped put several young masters-to-be on the map. For a time she and her husband owned a gallery in L.A., and they also built a museum, the Musée Boribana, in his hometown, Dakar, Senegal, which they gifted to the nation in 2014. (She's heading there this summer to visit the Dakar Biennale art festival.)


Sculpture of African woman by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Marianne by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

CCH Pounder is reprising her big-screen role as Queen Mo'at in Avatar's two upcoming sequels, yet she does make time to doodle. "I keep books of ideas, and some day I'm going to sit back and paint them." And, apparently, N'awlins' spirits also love art. "My house keeps talking to me. I think eventually she's gonna push me out and become a gallery."

Originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

NCIS: New Orleans returns Sunday, Feb. 16 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.


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