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Brian Dietzen Taps Into His Theater Background To Co-Write Another NCIS Episode

"NCIS" fan favorite Jimmy Parker (Brian Dietzen) is a familiar face to any long-term fan of the popular CBS hit. Coming on board the military procedural series as the medical examiner assistant to Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), Parker initially appears only periodically before becoming a recurring character. 

As the one responsible for sleuthing out the causes of death and other vital medical information necessary to solve the cases the "NCIS" squad handle, Dr. Palmer is no stranger to extreme pressure and high-stakes drama. Dietzen himself is acquainted with the scriptwriting process that leads to some of these intense moments on the show. 

As someone who recently co-wrote his second episode of the series along with "NCIS" writer and executive-producer Scott Williams, Dietzen knows what buttons to push to keep audiences riveted, and he credits a particular part of his background as a contributing factor to his scriptwriting savvy.

Brian Dietzen says his early exposure to American playwrights informs his scriptwriting

Brian Dietzen's first "NCIS" co-writer credit came about as the result of his work on Season 19's "The Helpers," which Dietzen was hesitant to co-write initially. In that outing, Dietzen's Dr. Jimmy Palmer and forensic scientist Kasie Hinds (Diona Reasonover) are the focus when they're exposed to a potentially lethal bio-toxin. 

In "NCIS" Season 20, Episode 14, Dietzen and Williams' script for "Old Wounds" spins another gripping narrative. Here Gary Cole's Special Agent Alden Parker is forced to confront ghosts from his FBI past in a murder case tied to a shipment of valuable opioids.

Asked about his penchant for lacing his writing with powerfully emotional elements by TV Insider, Dietzen referenced being raised on classic 20th Century American playwrights like Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill. He went on to add that he also "did a lot of Shakespeare festival [acting], which is obviously laden with a lot of emotion as well." 

Dietzen further explained that his writing tends to driven by the personality-fueled drama found in theater pieces. "There are other TV shows that are ripped from the headlines," Dietzen said, "and our shows tend to be ripped from the characters."