Season 16 of NCIS (aka CBS’ most watched drama) picks up just a day or two after Vance’s abduction — but following the title sequence jumps ahead four weeks, where Gibbs is filling in as Director (at least the best he can).
“We get to see Gibbs in a position of authority that he doesn’t feel very comfortable in,” co-showrunner Frank Cardea previews for TVLine.
In fact, that added burden will eventually tee up an episode the producers are very excited about, in which “Gibbs decides to tale a little R&R at his favorite cabin in the middle of nowhere, and he gets some unexpected guests” — in the form of Fornell (played by returning guest star Joe Spano) and Captain Phillip Brooks (returning guest star Don Lake) — “and they drive him crazy,” reports executive producer Steven D. Binder.
Other early outings include a “fun, whimsical” “mystery on Wisteria Lane” (as the EPs call it), followed by an episode that “explores what happens when NCIS meets reality-TV.” (That latter installment will reveal a certain Special Agent to be surprisingly fluent in the oft-maligned TV genre.)
A bit further down the road, Ducky aims to return to autopsy on a full-time basis, where he’d have to work alongside a more confident Jimmy Palmer. “We’ll see how that works, with two chefs in the kitchen!” says Cardea. “We’ll play that conflict a little.”
On the romantic front, Cardea teases that “Torres and Bishop sort of… become close,” though that burn may be just as famously slow and Tony and Ziva’s, while the show is also primed check in on Gibbs’ former flames.
“Although we haven’t pinned anything down, it’s been a while since we’ve done anything with any of Gibbs’ ex-wives,” Cardea notes. “Those episodes always pop, so we may be seeing more of them.”
NCIS Season 16 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c.