CBS warhorse NCIS will be back for a 19th season — though it will potentially feature less Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
The network announced on Thursday that it has renewed its longest-running drama for Season 19. According to The Hollywood Reporter, original cast member and executive producer Mark Harmon will be back as team leader Special Agent Gibbs, but it’s not yet been determined how many episodes will include him. Similarly, an episode count for Season 19 hasn’t been finalized.
As revealed at the close of the series’ March 16 episode, Gibbs was suspended indefinitely by Director Leon Vance, after brutally assaulting a suspected dog abuser.
Word of Harmon’s potentially reduced NCIS presence swirled at the time of sister series NCIS: New Orleans‘ cancellation. THR.com reported that with his contract expiring this spring, Harmon was poised to call it a day and hang up his stitched-logo NCIS cap. But when he learned that his doing so would result in the mothership series as a whole being cancelled, and many people losing their jobs, he entered talks to return in a limited capacity.
New for Season 19, meanwhile, will be series regular Katrina Law (Hawaii Five-0, Arrow), who will first surface in this season’s final two episodes. She will be playing NCIS REACT Special Agent Jessica Knight, a “formidable” woman whose specialty is hostage negotiations. Raised by a single mother, and married to a stay-at-home dad who is raising their infant son, Jessica is described as “sharp, athletic, tough” and “fiercely tenacious,” but she also possesses a “wry sense of humor.”
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Law’s casting came on the heels of Maria Bello exiting NCIS after three seasons as forensic psychologist Jack Sloane. (In the March 2 episode, Jack decided to stay put in Afghanistan after completing an op, to help out the local community.)
NCIS was one of five CBS series to get picked up for an additional season on Thursday, along with S.W.A.T., Blue Bloods, Magnum P.I. and Bull.