Image Credit: CBS
Now that the Hollywood strikes are over, it’s time to get back to TV business. Your favorite broadcast shows have gotten back to work, including NCIS. The beloved series will be coming back for its 21st season in early 2024.
Since NCIS season 21 was delayed from fall 2023, you probably have a lot of questions about what lies ahead. Hollywood Life has answers you need to know about the premiere date, Mark Harmon’s status, how the show will honor David McCallum, and more.
‘NCIS’ Season 21 Premiere Date
You’re probably wondering: when is NCIS coming back for season 21? In November 2023, CBS announced its winter 2024 premiere dates. NCIS season 21 will premiere on February 12, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
The hit series is now a part of the network’s Monday night lineup. NCIS will air before new episodes of the spinoff series NCIS: Hawai’i.
Is Mark Harmon Returning to ‘NCIS?’
As of right now, Mark Harmon is not expected to return for NCIS season 21. However, he is still an executive producer of the series. Mark led NCIS as Leroy Jethro Gibbs for nearly 2 decades. Mark shocked fans when he left the series after season 19. In a recent interview, the actor weighed in about a possible return. “He’s probably sitting in a stream up in Alaska fishing,” Mark told ETOnline about Gibbs. “Is he going to get out of the stream? I don’t know. But if he is, I don’t know about it.”
NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder has been open about wanting to bring back Gibbs, but it’ll have to be the “right story.” He told TVInsider, “I think when we do play it, it really needs to be the right thing. And we work on a different timeline than other shows. Other shows maybe have a year or two or they don’t know how much time they’re gonna have. We just, for rightly or wrongly, operate on a much longer time scale for these things than other shows do.”
In 2022, Mark opened up about his exit from the series and how he felt about Gibbs’ sendoff. “Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did. I thought it was honest and OK with,” he said in an interview for the season 19 DVD release.
‘NCIS’ Season 21 Cast
The NCIS season 21 cast includes Sean Murray as Timothy McGee, Gary Cole as Alden Parker, Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance, Katrina Law as Jessica Knight, Wilmer Valderrama as Nick Torres, Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer, and Diona Reasonover as Kasie Hines.
The NCIS cast and the entire fandom have been mourning the loss of David McCallum, who played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. The Scottish actor passed away in September 2023 at the age of 90. David had played the beloved character since NCIS premiered in 2003.
The show will pay tribute to David in the second episode of season 21, which will air on February 19. According to TVLine, the episode will “address McCallum’s passing and serve as a tribute to his beloved character.” David’s co-star Brian will co-write the episode with executive producer Scott Williams.
“Everyone at NCIS felt it was important to do an episode that honors such a legendary actor, not to mention a dear friend,” NCIS co-showrunners/executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North said in a statement to the outlet. “In the episode, the team will learn of Ducky’s passing and reflect on their memories of him as they grieve. And true to Ducky’s meticulous and compassionate nature, even after he’s gone, he still manages to solve one last crime with the team.”
Is ‘NCIS’ Going to End After Season 21?
CBS has not revealed the fate of NCIS beyond season 21. The network will likely decide about NCIS season 22 around May 2024.
The show remains a ratings hit for the network. NCIS has continued to grow its audience over the years since becoming available on Netflix. The first 15 seasons can be streamed on Netflix.