Cliff Lipson/CBS
Sandra Gonzalez
March 19, 2013 AT 07:35 PM EDT

Tonight on NCIS: LA, viewers will be introduced to the Red Team, a mobile team of investigators who cross paths with Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) while looking into a case.

But one of the biggest challenges going into this backdoor pilot was creating a set that could stand the test of time should the spin-off, working title NCIS: Red, get picked up to series, according to executive producer Shane Brennan. “It wasn’t a set we could build as a guest set,” he says. “It had to be totally credible and it had to sell the concept. It couldn’t be anything short of a working set.”

A dozen meetings and hours of labor on the part of the show’s set team later, they had two massive sets, called Laverne and Shirley, one of which was to be used in a more mobile capacity and the other to be used while filming at the show’s permanent stage. “To be honest, what they delivered was exactly what was in my head. It was kind of uncanny how quickly they got it and how accurate they were,” he says. “It’s quite remarkable piece of set design and construction.”

And we’re inclined to agree, so we asked Brennan to give us an exclusive tour of the Red Team’s humble abode, which you’ll see tonight on part one of NCIS‘s two-episode event.

Pictured: The main room, which acts as office and living space

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