‘NCIS’ Theory: Could Gary Cole Be Tied to Gibbs’ Storyline in Season 19?

Gary Cole of Veep at the Paley Center
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The NCIS cast may look a bit different in the upcoming 19th season and we can’t help but wonder if that will include finding a replacement for Leroy Jethro Gibbs with Mark Harmon possibly shifting to part-time.

Gary Cole (The Good Fight, Veep) “is in talks for a major role” on the CBS procedural, according to Variety. (CBS has declined to comment.) There are no details yet on the character Cole would be playing, but it’s hard not to speculate that he might come in as a seasoned agent and take over as team leader.

Yes, Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) has been doing a great job during Gibbs’ indefinite suspension (for not regretting beating up a man who ran a dogfighting ring and killed the losers), but that doesn’t mean that Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) will have him take over full-time. There hasn’t been any indication that Gibbs has plans to come back, and it’s not like the agency is rushing to reinstate him, either.

If not for Variety‘s report adding that “sources [say] that Cole may not be the only new face to join the show’s main cast in the upcoming season,” we might even wonder if he could be coming on to play the serial killer Gibbs and investigative reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber) were tracking at the end of Season 18. But NCIS isn’t exactly the kind of show to bring on a villain as a “main” cast member. That could always change, so we can’t rule that out.

The possibility of other additions isn’t surprising, given that the team is currently down two members. Emily Wickersham left at the end of Season 18, with her character Bishop going on an undercover op. Katrina Law appeared in the last two episodes as Jessica Knight, who lost her entire REACT team, and it does seem possible that she could stick around to join McGee and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) moving forward. If that’s the case, the team would still need at least one other person. Plus, NCIS also said goodbye to Maria Bello (who played forensic psychologist Jack Sloane) last season.

Time will tell! But we’re excited to see if Cole makes it onto the main cast. The actor, whose TV credits also include mixed-ish, Chicago Fire, Suits, and Archer, is always a great addition to an ensemble.

NCIS Cast Team Gibbs Bishop McGee Torres

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NCIS, Season 19, Fall 2021, CBS