In a recent episode of the hit CBS show NCIS: Los Angeles, the character of Eric Beale reminisces about his college days with a guest character. Recounting their many acts of mischief, Eric mentions “the great penguin heist” and “turning the campus observatory into a giant R2D2.” Carleton enthusiasts might recognize both of these stunts as real-life Carleton College pranks. But they won’t. Because this dialogue had to be cut from the episode for time. It’s something the writer, Andrew Bartels ’04, regrets. Some days it even makes him nostalgic for the television pilot he wrote and shot while at Carleton (using CAMS equipment and resources): it came out 18 minutes too long and was basically just a stylistic rip-off of Arrested Development. But that didn’t matter at the time. At Carleton, he was free to experiment and explore the different genres of visual storytelling, the various writing techniques and camera tricks that make each beat resonate with the viewer. Carleton gave him that freedom. After graduation, Andrew furthered his education in film school, and then moved to Los Angeles upon earning a Television Academy Foundation internship on the #1 show on television, NCIS. For the next two months, he watched and participated in every aspect of the show’s production – from sitting in on writers’ meetings to watching the sound mix of the final cut. After the internship, he was quickly hired for various PA positions on the show until he landed as a Writers PA on its spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles. For the next four years, he worked hard and kept writing. In Season Five of the NCIS:LA, Andrew was promoted to staff writer. He has written two episodes (“Allegiance” with Frank Military, and “Zero Days”). He will continue to write for the show in Season Six, premiering Monday, September 29th. His next episode will feature a bust of Friedrich Schiller used as a murder weapon… unless they have to cut that.