NCIS Season 21 Release Date, Cast, And Everything We Know So Far


We are finally getting closer to NCIS Season 21 premiering on CBS. Here’s everything we know about the new season, including cast, episode count, and more.

Broadcast TV has certainly been disrupted this year. We knew that it was going to happen with the join WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but that doesn’t mean it was easy as a fan of various TV crime dramas. The good news is the strikes are over, and now eyes are on when our favorite shows will return.

NCIS Season 21 will be one of the first shows back on CBS in the new year. Who will return, and what can we expect this season? Here’s everything we know so far.

When will NCIS Season 21 premiere on CBS?

While CBS wanted the series to return in the fall, that wasn’t possible once the actors joined the strike action. So, the show was pushed to 2024, with January set as the earliest that it could possibly return. Then there were talks of March.

The good news is that CBS has set the date, and we don’t need to wait until March. CBS has opted to wait until the Super Bowl, so NCIS Season 21 will premiere on Monday, Feb. 12.

Yes, the series will remain on Mondays, despite NCIS: Sydney performing well on Tuesdays in the old NCIS timeslot. Tuesdays are still all about the FBI dramas in the new year. The show will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT with NCIS: Hawaii Season 3 premiering on the same day.

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

CBS hasn’t confirmed episode counts exactly, but we do know that the broadcast shows are likely to have between 10 and 13 episodes. We know CSI: Vegas Season 3 is set to have 10 episodes, but that was already going to be a midseason series.

CBS will want to get as many episodes out of one of its top performers. We’re looking at a 13-episode season at this point, but we’ll be sure to update as soon as there is official confirmation.

Who will return for NCIS in Season 21?

The majority of the main cast is set to return to the series. At least, that’s what we can take from the lack of announcements on exits.

There is sadly one cast member missing. David McCallum passed away in September 2023 at the age of 90. While his character Ducky wasn’t in all episodes anymore, he was still an important part of the series. We do expect to see a memorial episode for the character to give everyone a way to say goodbye to McCallum.


The remaining cast set to return is:

  • Gary Cole as NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Alden Parker
  • Sean Murray as NCIS Senior Field Agent Timothy McGee
  • Wilmer Valderrama as NCIS Special Agent Nicholas Torres
  • Katrina Law as NCIS Special Agent Jessica Knight
  • Diona Reasonover as NCIS Forensic Specialist Kasie Hines
  • Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer
  • Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance

Could we see former characters return? We would love to see Gibbs be one to come back for a memorial episode for Ducky, but it’s not clear if that will happen just yet.

What to expect in NCIS Season 21?

The 20th season ended with a major cliffhanger for Torres. He sat in the chair of a man’s house with a gun in his hand. It’s clear that this man has history with Torres and his family, and Torres wants revenge.

Will he put his career on the line to get that revenge? With nobody aware of what Torres learned while undercover in prison, it’s hard to say if there is a way out of this one. We would love to see Bishop return to get Torres out of trouble, but there are no signs that Emily Wickersham will return.

There, of course, needs to be a memorial episode for Ducky. This isn’t a character who can go unmentioned. He needs a good send-off, giving the actors a chance to grieve through their characters.

We’re also sure to see more personal storylines. Palmer and Knight have moved forward in their relationship over the last two seasons. This looks like a relationship that could actually be a happy one, so is it time for them to move forward to the point of moving in together? We’d also love to see more of Kasie’s personal life. She tends to get overlooked with just the odd episode here and there, so it’s time to give us more.

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