NCIS Boss: Someone Will Die! Plus, the Story That'll Have You on the Edge of Your Seat

CBS’ NCIS – aka TV’s most-watched scripted series – premieres its ninth season this Tuesday at 8/7c, picking up a titillating thread from last May’s finale: On the heels of the Port-to-Port Killer’s reign of terror, Agent Tony DiNozzo was tasked by the new SECNAV with a top-secret mission to take care of an NCIS mole who’s selling secrets. The wrinkle: Tony recognized his target from a photograph supplied him, meaning that familiar face is now in his crosshairs. Meanwhile, given how Season 8 ended, will Gibbs be more protective of his team than ever?

Series boss Gary Glasberg shared with TVLine a look at those storylines and other Season 9 twists to come.

NCIS Scoop: Scott Wolf G-Mans Up for Season Premiere!

TVLINE | How much time has lapsed since the finale?
On screen, we’re going to start the show in real time, in September, look back all the way to May, and then sort of jump through the mission that Tony (played by Michael Weatherly) was on, and carry us all the way up to present day.

TVLINE | That was quite the potential bombshell you literally handed him there.
Yeah, and I have to say, people are going to see a side of Tony that they’ve never seen before. I highly, highly, highly recommend that you not miss the first five minutes of the show, because it’s going to start with a bang.

NCIS Exclusive First Look: Tony and EJ’s Explosive Reunion!

TVLINE | Tony obviously recognized his target. Would we?
Absolutely. And in this [premiere], a lot of that is going to get tied up. We’re going to learn what the microchip was that EJ found [in Agent Levin’s arm]; we’re going to learn who’s in that photograph; and someone is going to die – someone near to NCIS. It’s a roller coaster ride, and the nice thing is that while Tony’s aspect of the mission will wrap up, a whole other door will open at the end that sort of keeps the whole thing going. It’s not quite over.

TVLINE | And Sarah Jane Morris is back as EJ….
She’ll be back in this episode, and then we’ll see….

TVLINE | Is EJ back on her own volition, or does somebody pull her back?
It’s all part of the story. She has close ties to Tony, she’s got that microchip, and it alllll comes together.

NCIS Scoop! Jamie Lee Curtis to Share ‘Sparks’ With Gibbs

TVLINE | With everything that went down at the end of last season – the Port-to-Port killings, that Gibbs (Mark Harmon) was basically hoodwinked by EJ’s connection to the SECNAV – will Gibbs even more protective of his turf, of his NCIS family?
He’s always protective of his team, and he values the way they function as a group and how one part is just as important as the whole. If anything, we’re going to try and do some storylines this season where the group has to function as a unit, and it’s been working really nicely. You’ve got this new SECNAV (played by Matt Craven) that has an agenda of his own — for better or for worse – and that’s something that they’re not used to. In some ways, it unites the team even more because you’ve got Vance (Rocky Carroll) now sort of working with them in trying to figure out how to deal with him.

TVLINE | “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.”
Yeah, and interwoven in that we’ve got all these individual stories for our characters, as we always do. We’re going to reopen the “NCIS Family Album.” Were just wrapping up with Lily Tomlin as McGee’s grandmother. That’s a really fun storyline, and a big, McGee-centric episode that’s not just about family; there’s a procedural aspect to it as well. RJ Wagner is coming back [as Tony’s father], Ralph Waite will come back [as Gibbs’ dad]…. And in the first six episodes we’re going to learn something about Abby’s (Pauley Perrette) family and background that no one is going to see coming.

TVLINE | They’re, what, Amish?
There you go. [Laughs] That’d be fantastic. I want to write that.

TVLINE | And how long until we see “CI-Ray” (played by Enrique Murciano) again?
He’ll probably show up about midway through [the season]. That storyline is alive, and he’s off doing his thing…. We look forward to getting back into it again.

NCIS Casts Charlie’s Angels Vet as Ducky’s Love Interest

TVLINE | I was telling Cote [de Pablo] that she deserves more than an empty box, man.
Tell me about it. I agree. What was that about? Oh, and then we have a really interesting Ducky story that we’re going to do. I hope it’s going to have people on the edge of their seat because it gets into his personal life, then dovetails into a case as well. It’s going to be a really special episode for David McCallum, so we’re excited about that.

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45 Comments
  1. Lambsilencer says:

    Saw the first episode already. Surely didn’t disappoint.

    • Lauryn says:

      Some people have already seen it. I don’t know how. But I am looking forward to seeing it tonight! :) Great interview, Matt. Good questions and the Amish comment was funny. And I like how you said Ziva deserved more than an empty box. And, Gary, if you ever read comments here: anything on Tiva – at all? It’s been nine years. Throw us a bone, buddy. ;)

      • sue says:

        Was it just me or did anyone else sense that something is going on between tony and ziva in the season premiere today?

        • @sue says:

          I sensed it. It made me very happy. Need moar NCIS and Tiva. That is all. Tonight’s episode was excellent, btw. Nine years in and it still doesn’t disappoint. ;)

  2. D says:

    Michael Weatherly deserves all the awards for this episode.

  3. tejas says:

    WONDERFUL premiere! This is the *best* season opener in years. This cannot be said enough, Michael Weatherly deserves more scripts this good. Like we learned in Baltimore – you don’t waste good. The man is phenomenal and he *never* disappoints. His performance was intense, nuanced, subtle. And I love the meta inherent in the title. This episode *is* the “Nature of the Beast” that is classic NCIS.

  4. Emmi says:

    Yeah, for some reason this aired in Canada last night on Global. We watched it at 2000H EST, and it aired several times after that on other time zones. Strange that they would premier it early when it the first show of the season. I bet someone’s head will roll over that, everyone will just read the spoilers or download the episode now.

    • Newo says:

      Nobodies head will roll, Global aired the show a day early last season as well, rest assured CBS is well aware of what is done with the airing rights to their show

    • Andrea says:

      In the past several shows have generally aired in Canady the day before they aired in the US: Bones, The Mentalist, SVU for example. And even NCIS has always aired an hour early on Tuesdays in Newfoundland, because they are one hour ahead. So no. No heads will roll. And why should they.

  5. Alicia says:

    Sooooo, can one assume the premiere is as over-hyped as the finale was? Though that’s not TVLine’s fault, it’s just what TPTB at NCIS were selling. They claim some major cast member is going to die and the repercussions are going to reverberate into the following season, and then it turns out to be Franks. No offense, but a guy who shows up maybe 2 episodes a season is not “major.”
    And now we’ve got another mole situation; where have I seen that before, seems so familiar…

    • Tom says:

      Honestly, you’re being kind of pessimistic. Franks wasn’t major in the fact that he was in every episode; he was major in a way that people would really miss him when he got ‘offed’. And to me, that constitutes a major character.

      As for the mole situation, its not one. At least not in so far as the previous mole goes. Its a rather different kind of thing that is in this one and to be honest, I really don’t see it as that much of a similarity.

      I think that for a show that has been going for 9 years to still be as great as NCIS is, the writers are -definately- doing something right.

      • Alicia says:

        Just watched the premiere and I stand by my comments; it was indeed a letdown. The role of the guest actor (you know who I’m talking about) was very predictable and then the ending with Gibbs was oh-so-convenient and practically tacked on. I mean really, it’s just right there for him to “discover”? Well it isn’t such a big mystery then is it? Sure the mole situation is different, but it’s not even clever from what I can tell, and now they’re probably going to drag it out.
        Also, most shows don’t reach 9 seasons because they SHOULDN’T.

      • meri says:

        One of the writers went on record as saying that Franks will be back in unusual and unexpected ways. If I were to wager a guess, I would say that when Franks says to Gibbs that sometimes we create our own ghosts, perhaps that was foreshadowing as to the way Franks will “return.”

    • Anna says:

      Franks had a pretty strong following. I know of quite a few people who were upset. (Especially since Kort is still amongst the living.)

  6. Barb says:

    Was hoping EJ & Ray would be gone for good.

  7. Mel says:

    Thanks for the NCIS scoop. It’s nice that Mr. Glasberg is excited about the return of CI-Ray, but personally I would be very happy if I never saw the guy again. Look forward to see the episode tonight.

  8. Kim R says:

    Love the show. Never lets me down. The characters are rich, we have come to know them but there are always things to learn. I would not be sad to see C.I.Ray out of the picture. I did not sense any chemistry between he and Ziva. I enjoyed the premier very much. :)

  9. Andrea says:

    I watched the premiere of NCIS and Hawaii 5-0 last night. I thought NCIS had an interesting start, but what bothers me (without giving any spoilers away and Gary already mentioned it himself): The story is told the exact same way they did with the season premiere of season 7 aka a certain someone telling what happened since May. And while I thought MW did a good job and while it was also nice to see him as something other than the class clown it bothered me that the team work, that made the show what it is, was virtually nonexistent in this episode. They were left completely out of the loop of events for four months. And by the way: That was another thing we have seen happen before (Bennoit case, season 4). In a nutshell: I was happy with MW’s performance. I was not happy with the way the story was told and the setting of the story, which were both recycled from earlier seasons. There was good acting. But fresh and exciting – just to me personally, of course – it was not.

    After I finished watching NCIS I then watched the Hawaii 5-0 premiere – which is not even a regular show of mine, I only caught a handful of episodes last year, but I thought the premiere last night was fresh, fast, fun and exciting with two fantastic additions (Masi Oka and Terry O’Quinn). So I have to admit it impressed me more and was much more fun than the NCIS premiere. Again, just my feeble personal opinion. :) I am sure everyone has a different one.

    • Andrea says:

      One thing I forgot to mention earlier:
      The use of background music on NCIS has become absolutely unbearable. I noticed this at some point last season and it was again really bad last night. I really don’t mind a bit of dramatic BGM when the scene in question calls for it. But when it is just a few people sitting in Vance’s office and the music sounds like they just let loose a firing squad… that is not just overkill, but a buzzkill as well. Viewers are not stupid. They know and realize what is happening. They don’t need anyone to showel moody music down their throats – or rather, their ears – to let them know how they are supposed to feel at a certain moment within an episode. This isn’t “The Navy and the Beautiful”.

      • Anna says:

        My mother said that the loud music on H5-O last year made it difficult for her to understand what people were saying.

        • Andrea says:

          Your mother is quite right, Anna, that is another show where I noticed this. But it is really a general trend, it seems, that every moment of every episode “needs” to have some kind of music fiddling in the background nowadays. And I have the same problem as your mom, it sometimes makes it heard to understand what is being said. Not being a native speaker, it is that extra bit harder for me. ;)

  10. Yek says:

    Um, did they say there would be “major main character deaths” during the finale too? Franks died, whom only 50% of the fan base liked, and didn’t one of EJ’s agents whom nobody cared abou die as well? The finale sucked. The past two seasons have been this show just spinning its wheels. I have a lot of respect for the cast but they are being given subpar material compared to seasons 1-6 imho. So you’ll forgive me when I say that by “someone close to NCIS,” he means the janitor, who’s had about 5 seconds of screen time.

    • Meri says:

      I am interested in how you got to the statistic that only 50% of the fans liked Mike Franks. Was there a poll I missed?

      • yek says:

        No, but based on the comments after his death on this site, half the people were like “whatever” and the other half were sitting in front of their TV crying. It was definitely no “Twilight”.

  11. mel says:

    I try not to believe anything Gary or any of the NCIS staff tells us. Don’t want to spoil anything about tonight, but the whole someone dear to the team dies, is BS. I agree with some of the posters in that some of the stories are recycled. I saw some similarities last night with season 7 opener. I was disappointed with last season, I thought it was weak. I hope this season is better. I actually liked the season opener last night and I think this season has potential to be really good. I for one don’t want to see Ray or EJ return and hope not to see them again, but I doubt that will happen.

  12. great sit down with Gary Glasberg. Looking forward to the new season adn covering all of the action over at On My DVR. I am reitterating that I hope EJ gets gone fast this season, she’s bad news and takes away from the core unit storyline.

  13. katmandu says:

    I haven’t seen the episode yet – those that have are giving it an okay rating. I am withholding an opinion until I can see it for myself.

    I do hope that this is the end of EJ – she brought the show down – along with that whole contrived P2P plot (which could have been so much more, but fell flat due to all the “extra” people involved).

  14. jeff ceragno says:

    with all these big stars doing gues appearance on the show……..i thin it would be nice to get Robert Vaughn on the show………Napolean and Illya…..man was that a long time ago

  15. AL says:

    I love Ray! I hope Enrique Murciano gets more screen time.

    • Meri says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. I love the “TIVA” thing when it comes to sexual tension, but for them to actually get together would be distracting and useless to me. Ziva and Ray can have a thing while tension remains between Ziva and Tony. It didn’t exactly go away when the Jeanne thing was going on.

  16. emeli says:

    A mi tb. me encanta TIVA !! Hace 6 temporadas que estoy esperando que los escritores se dignen avanzar sobre ellos !! Basta de EJ y Ray. Que nos den algo por lo que estamos clamando hace tiempo !! please……………!!

  17. Sandy says:

    Was it just me or was there something going on between tony and ziva in 9.1?

  18. AngelMoonGirl says:

    First off I want to say that if Ziva agrees to marry Ray or if their relationship goes any further, I’m going to throw something large (very large) at my TV. Grr.
    Secondly, DEAR GOD PLEASE put Tony and Ziva together by the end of this season. It’s been six years of teasing now and I think something needs to happen. That scene they had in the premiere was AMAZING- I love the return of touchy feely Tiva- and I hope they continue to get closer. PLEASE.
    Third, I love all the family stuff. But does EVERY case have to relate to a family member? I think sometimes it should be unrelated… but I can’t wait to see what happens!

  19. dale says:

    when will this be replayed

  20. Lyndsey says:

    Seriously??!! I’m still “heartbroken” about Mike Franks!!! The episodes with him and/or Gibbs’ FBI buddy (whose name slips my mind right now) have ALWAYS been my favorites!! Thank goodness this show believes in flashbacks!

  21. Heather2711 says:

    Any chance we’ll ever see Troian Bellisario come back as McGees sister?

  22. Nicholas Nnadozie says:

    The suspense between ziva and tony is killing, but i beleive something is going on between them

  23. Ellen says:

    When will we see season 9 in the UK? very soon I hope as I am addicted.

  24. Gretchen says:

    Eh, it was OK.

    I thought the person in the photo would be someone more interesting. Though it will be interesting to see what happens with the SECNAV, but on the whole aren’t the overarching big villain storylines done too much?

  25. Ron says:

    Who is the artist and/or name of the song at the end of the “Nature of the Beast” episode.

  26. Karon Kay says:

    Can you tell us when we will see the new series on fx in the uk? Keeping getting spoilers from facebook and can’t wait to see it!!!

  27. lee says:

    i have seen all the other seassons am looking forward 2 the new 1 but wot channel is it please

  28. Roman Korvinus says:

    Yes Ducky I noticed the corps in the first 3 episodes of season 8.

    I think I would like to see an episode where a man is found dead in a Marine Chapel. They get him back to the table, DNR and No otopsy on his chest, tattoo. So they run Tox and full body scan on bones, inject dyes and the like to find out what they can. They find he had his neck broke not once but three times. Broken jaw, hitting vegas nerve. Each time he sould of died. Also that he walked 20 mile son a broke foot. Tox revealed he was poisoned, possible in the western part of the US. Perhapes Arizona.
    Later they find out that he signed up to be a Marine, but refused to go, thus the Case Wroth vs Higgins. (TS) They later find his girl friend. She tells him of who he thought he was as well as others.
    Leon figures out the man connects to a black ops operation that branches off the Blue Beam Project called Project Horseman.
    They realize this man was creating a new religion. Information leads to the Vatican and the Cuban Government (pissed at the man for killing a lead member of the community, he was a special assasin, almost science fiction since they blame himn for a crime that happened before he was born) and the Catholic Church there. Apparently when the man Signed up for ther Corps he awoke in the night to find a Tactical Unit in the room, he had only enough time to open his eyes before the chlorform hit. According to the Ops file he was appart of the Horseman Program. What they didn’t know was that he ahd a split personality. They trained the the defensive personality. The man was part assain and part saint.
    Over the last ten years he has been influening various musicans and religious idealists, king of the underground, a real Osiris if you will. Not to mention uncovering ancient sacred geometries thay tie directly to the metophorical ideas that created religions (ABBIES part). Even proved that mandelbrots fractal geometry was used in the 1400’s. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sacred_geometry/
    Att he end the body diapears. Surveylance shows a image leaving. (Ducky and AbbY).

  29. NJ says:

    I agree totally. NCIS just didn’t seem to have the “sizzle” and hold my interest as in all the years past, plus the acting sucked. It was obviously “acting.”

    Others I’ve spoken to say the same …

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