Brad Kern is exiting his role as executive producer/showrunner of NCIS: New Orleans. He will serve as consultant on the series going forward. NCIS: New Orleans executive producer Chris Silber has been named new showrunner.
The move comes months after word surfaced in December that Kern had been the subject of two Human Resources investigations by CBS TV Studios while working on the studio’s popular CBS crime procedural. Both reportedly were triggered by complaints from co-workers about a hostile work environment on the show.
Following the second investigation, Kern was reportedly assigned to and underwent six months of sensitivity training/counseling, which he completed in February 2017. There have been no new official complaints filed against him since.
“We were aware of these allegations when they took place in 2016, and took them very seriously,” CBS TV Studios said in a statement at the time. “Both complaints were acted upon immediately with investigations and subsequent disciplinary action. While we were not able to corroborate all of the allegations, we took this action to address behavior and management style, and have received no further complaints since this was implemented.”
Known for his sometimes abrasive behavior that I hear has led to at least one staff departure, Kern’s name began coming up in the context of the crackdown on sexual harassment in Hollywood in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Two high-profile showrunners, Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Supergirl) and Mark Schwahn, were ousted following brief investigations into sexual harassment accusations by the studios they work for.
Kern, whose exit from NCIS: New Orleans was first reported by Salon.com, has been one of the top showrunners on CBS Studios’ roster. Before joining NCIS: New Orleans midway through its second season two years ago, he ran the Beauty and the Beast remake for the CW, Charmed and New York Undercover. He also has worked on Human Target, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Hill Street Blues and Remington Steele, where his career began. He has written and/or produced more than 400 hours of television.
Silber is an NCIS veteran. He has been on NCIS: New Orleans since Episode 14 of Season 1, rising to executive producer. Before that, he worked on the mothership series for three seasons. His drama procedural credits also include CBS’ Elementary, CSI: NY and Cold Case.
NCIS: New Orleans is returning for Season 5 in the fall.