How ‘NCIS’ Has Set up New Characters to Join in Season 19

NCIS Season 18 McGee Bishop Knight Torres
Sonja Flemming/CBS

After NCIS said goodbye to two series regulars in Season 18, the stage is set for the CBS procedural drama to add to its cast.

Maria Bello (who played forensic psychiatrist Jack Sloane) and Emily Wickersham (who played Ellie Bishop) both left, opening up spots both at NCIS and within the team moving forward. And the latter comes as the team is currently down its boss, with Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) indefinitely suspended. (We also don’t know if Harmon will be around full-time or part-time in Season 19. Either way, there’s room for a new character.)

With rumors of Gary Cole potentially joining the cast (in an unknown role) and of him not being the only possible addition, we take a look at the areas in which a new (recurring or series regular) character could pop up in Season 19.

New Interim Boss

Even if Harmon is around full-time next season and Gibbs does return to work (however that happens), chances are the season will start with him still badge-less. While Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) could easily continue to fill in, there’s also the possibility that Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) brings in someone else either temporarily or permanently (or “permanently,” as things can always change). After all, we don’t know what the team will need, especially since no one can handle everything tech-related like McGee.

New Team Members

While McGee can continue to serve as the team leader in Gibbs’ absence, he and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) can’t be a team of two for long. With the loss of Bishop, someone has to come in to replace her, either via a rotating roster of agents, Katrina Law’s Jessica Knight possibly becoming a permanent fixture (after meeting the team during the penultimate episode’s case then helping out in the Season 18 finale), or a new, permanent teammate. If it someone completely new, that person could come internally from NCIS or another agency (as has happened in the past).

NCIS Season 18 Team Crime Scene Torres McGee

Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Serial Killer

Just because Gibbs was suspended from NCIS didn’t mean he didn’t put his skills to good use. In the finale, he and investigative reporter Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber) were closing in on a serial killer. That’s presumably linked to his boat exploding at the end of the season. Isn’t it about time that we put a face to that character? We don’t know yet how much longer that storyline will go, but even if it’s just for an episode or two, chances are the character will appear on-screen.

New Faces Around the Office

Season 19 could introduce new team-adjacent characters. After all, Jack didn’t just work with the team. Forensic scientist Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover) could use help in the lab, but not like Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) got from Chip (Michael Bellisario), who framed Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) for murder in Season 3. And is it time for Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) to get his own assistant like he was Ducky’s (David McCallum) all those years?

Brian Dietzen Diona Reasonover NCIS Season 17 Palmer Kasie

Michael Yarish/CBS

NCIS, Season 19, Fall 2021, CBS