NCIS Scoop: Lily Tomlin Reveals that McGee's Grandmother Is a [Spoiler]!

If you’re an NCIS fan, you already know that iconic funny lady Lily Tomlin will be guest-starring this coming season as McGee’s grandmother. But what you may not know is that Penelope McGee, akin to her kin, is a science nerd.

“She’s a scientist, and she’s very sharp,” Tomlin told TVLine after the Television Critics Association panel for the Showtime series Web Therapy (Tuesdays at 11/10c), on which she guest stars.

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Further describing Penelope, Tomlin said, “She was an admiral’s wife for many decades, and she’s the mother of McGee’s father…. It was a really good part, and I was really delighted to get it.”

NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg told me that Tomlin figures into a “really fun, big, McGee-centric episode,” one that is not just about family but has a procedural aspect as well.

“We’re really happy with her,” he said of the Laugh-In alumna’s casting, “and I hope that maybe we can get her to come back.”

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Have McGee and his grandma been close over the years? Or does the procedural aspect of the episode manage to bring together two estranged family members? “They’re a military family, and they’re very science-minded, so they’re not overly emotional,” Tomlin says. “But we have this opportunity [to change that].”

Tomlin hails her TV grandson, Sean Murray, as “so darling, he kills me!” As the events of the episode play out, Tim McGee will experience a “kind of a breakthrough,” she says. “[Penelope] makes a connection with him, and we both come to a new place.”

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15 Comments
  1. xav says:

    Ooh, I like that. I was hoping for a good character for Lily. I hope she interacts with Abby, that would be interesting.

  2. sadtroll says:

    Wow, I’m actually looking forward to a McGee storyline that doesn’t involve some girl breaking his heart/trying to kill him.

  3. Renee says:

    Oh I can’t wait!

  4. TV Gord says:

    This sounds GREAT! And it reminds me…remember when CSI and Two And A Half Men did that crossover experiment? I would LOVE to see a crossover episode between NCIS and The Big Bang Theory, with Lily Tomlin somehow bridging the two shows!

    That’s my nerdy dream of the day.

  5. BJ Wanlund says:

    Ooh, this sounds great. A real life version of Ms. Valerie Frizzle, whom she voiced on the old Magic School Bus TV series on PBS in the 90s? Sign me up!!

    BJ

  6. Svnjea says:

    My day is complete now.
    THIS IS GREAT NEWS.

  7. Denise says:

    I LOVE McGee and so very glad that we will get to see an episode with him mostly in it. I can’t wait for this episode to air.

  8. Mai says:

    McGee’s my absolute favourite on NCIS. I’m really looking forward to this episode!

  9. Andrea says:

    I’m also looking forward to meeting McGee’s grandma.

  10. Karla says:

    Yay! I love McGee! Hope he has more scenes this season then he did last season.

  11. Jeannie says:

    Oh, I can’t wait. Although, I love the entire cast Tim is my absolute favorite and I really like Lilly Tomlin.

  12. Jessica says:

    Yes! This is going to be an amazing episode! McGee is my favorite character (Yes, I’m a Geek who has a crush on a huge Geek!) and I just love that they will finally have an episode centered around him that doesn’t involve high levels of negativity for his character. Probie- Killed a Cop, Twisted Sister- Sister framed for murder, Cover Story- Believed his story was the reason two people were dead, and Caged- Almost got killed in a Women’s prison riot. McGee is such an amazing character, and I just wish more episodes could really show his amazing strengths, instead of just tid bits through each episode to involving him just typing away at his computer to aid in an investigations that he would probably like to lead on his own. Hey, it could happen.

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