For the first time in NCIS history, the show featured two characters who did not have any contact with Gibbs. Nonetheless, the show has survived and thrived, and season 20 is currently in production.
When the showrunners hired Gary Cole and promoted Katrina Law to the permanent cast last year, they were certainly taking a risk. The first four episodes said good-by to the special agent in charge, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Gibbs was played by Mark Harmon. His icy blue stare during any interrogation, as well as his slew of personal rules, have been a staple of the show since its inception in 2003. But Harmon wanted to leave the show. CBS could cancel or continue the show.
While Gibbs was suspended for assaulting a dog k1ller, Law played Jess Knight in the final two episodes of season 18. He was on the trail of a serial k1ller when season 19 began, so Jess didn’t get to soak up much of Gibbs’ brilliance.
Cole was also cast as Alden Parker, Gibbs’ replacement, on NCIS. Parker, an FBI agent, collaborated with Gibbs on the first three episodes of NCIS. As they pursued the hitman, the two weren’t exactly friendly. Parker was abandoned by Gibbs on the side of the road. Parker, on the other hand, defied a direct order from his boss to arrest Gibbs in Alaska. In addition, Gibbs’ close friend Tobias Fornell endorsed Parker for the position of special agent in charge.
What was the secret to your success? This is a fun set.
It was a different kind of NCIS season after Gibbs, though the story lines still revolved around Naval cr1mes. The show appeared to be the same, but it needed to establish chemistry between the newcomers and the veterans.
Cast members shared some behind-the-scenes information for a bonus feature included with the NCIS season 19 DVD release. And a big part of it was dealing with the transition from Harmon to Cole.
“I guess I qualify as the new guy, even though Katrina is almost as new as I am,” Cole said in the interview. “I think we found the right balance of being able to be loose and fun with each other and then get down to business when we needed to get down to business.” (And) I believe you require both, especially with a season like ours.
“You have to let go of some of the pent-up anxiety or whatever you want to call it,” Cole explained. “I believe we’ve accomplished that. It’s a pleasant place to work. To put it another way.
Season 20 production began last month with the cast and crew. The season 19 finale revealed how much the agents admired their new boss. Someone is framing Parker for murd3r, and as the episode comes to a close, Parker departs with his ex-wife to clear his name. He informed the agents that his issues were not theirs. He didn’t want them to jeopardize their careers in order to save his. They, thankfully, ignored him.
To celebrate the season premieres of both shows, NCIS will do a two-hour crossover with NCIS: Hawai’i on September 19. And, according to the plot teaser released by CBS, the crew does collaborate for their boss. That’s similar to how the agents reacted to Gibbs when he was in certain situations.
So, even though Gibbs is no longer on the show and lives in Alaska, NCIS retains the same vibe, albeit with a different look. There’s also a lot of fun on set.
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