Inside Scoop on What's Ahead for 'NCIS,' 'Supernatural' & 'Outlander'

NCIS Harmon Outlander Heughan Balfe Supernatural Padalecki Ackles
Preview
Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images; Starz; Colin Bentley/The CW

Wondering what's ahead for a few top (and fan-favorite) dramas? We have you covered below.

NCIS  

One reason to love the crime-solvers of CBS's NCIS: The team feels like a family. So it's fitting that for the 400th episode, coming this fall, the military drama will see a real-life father-and-son reunion. TV Guide Magazine can exclusively reveal that Mark Harmon, who plays flinty big boss Leroy Jethro Gibbs, welcomes back his son Sean, again stepping into the shoes of Gibbs' younger self. The acting gene is strong: Sean's mom is Harmon's wife of 33 years, Pam Dawber (Mork & Mindy).

The junior Harmon, 32, has tackled the role in six previous episodes. The first was in 2008 when he appeared in flashbacks after a crime led the NCIS team to Gibbs' hometown of Stillwater, Pennsylvania. Most recently he was seen in 2012 for another landmark, the 200th installment, which was devoted to Gibbs' past, exploring his memories and major crossroads. Sean also had a 2015 guest spot on NCIS: Los Angeles as a young man caught up in the white supremacist movement.

Sean Harmon

(Courtney Prather)

This time, as TV Guide Magazine has reported, we'll learn how Gibbs came into the NCIS world and met medical examiner and now historian Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum). "The goal for this episode," exec producer Frank Cardea told us in June, "was to write a love letter to the longtime fans."

—Kate Hahn

Outlander

"Does it ever stop? The wanting you?" Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser asks his 20th-century time-traveling soulmate Claire in the first book of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series. We feel the same way about the sexy, suspenseful Starz adaptation starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as the passionate couple, now settled in 18th-century North Carolina with their daughter, Brianna (Sophie Skelton), extended family and friends.

The devastating but hopeful Season 5 finale, in which — spoiler alert! — Claire was kidnapped and raped but rescued by Jamie, aired in May. Executive producer Matthew B. Roberts confirmed that Season 6, which should air in 2021, will be based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth in Gabaldon’s string of hits.

6 Storylines to Expect in 'Outlander' Season 6, According to the BooksSee Also

6 Storylines to Expect in 'Outlander' Season 6, According to the Books

We're excited about the possibilities, from time traveling to some trying family developments.

"The Frasers and MacKenzies put themselves at risk to help people. Inherently when you do that, you suffer. There's going to be tears," he hinted at an August PaleyFest LA panel moderated by TV Guide Magazine. Exec producer Maril Davis had more positive news: "Claire and Jamie's love deepens, and something new and fun happens to Brianna and [her husband] Roger [Richard Rankin]."

As in the books, the family will be involved in the American Revolution. But it's yet to be determined whether the season will include other plot points, like the repercussions for killing Claire's attacker, the paternity of Bree's son Jemmy or Jamie accused of fathering another woman's child. During the panel, Balfe referenced a moment in which Claire wakes up bald, her tresses shorn in an attempt to control a near-deadly fever. "Maybe I'll get a haircut. I'll let Sam do it!"

Heughan, who with Balfe and other cast and crew also participated in Facebook's End of Summer Series to discuss the hit, at PaleyFest offered a broader view of what's to come. "We have almost seven years of experience; scenes, characters, things in the books we haven't covered. And we have time travel! It feels like the universe is opening up a little bit more."

—Kate Hahn

Supernatural

The Winchester brothers have a lot of work left to do when The CW's Supernatural returns October 8 (8/7c) for seven final episodes. As the vengeful God, aka Chuck (Rob Benedict), sets out to destroy the universe, heroic Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) must save everyone — again — aided by their angel ally Castiel (Misha Collins) and the powerful half angel Jack (Alexander Calvert), who may be tasked with killing the deity.

Before the series wraps, fans will also get an episode centered on Castiel and Jack, learn more about the Men of Letters bunker (and that unexplained telescope!) and go back in time with young Sam (Christian Michael Cooper) and Dean (Paxton Singleton) on an early monster hunt. For a bit of fun, the brothers celebrate all the holidays they missed while on the road.

Also expect visits from God's estranged sister Amara/the Darkness (Emily Swallow), the Winchesters' half brother Adam/archangel Michael (Jake Abel), and computer nerd turned demon hunter Charlie (Felicia Day). And the siblings' mentor, Bobby, may pop up before the November 19 finale; actor Jim Beaver arrived in Vancouver shortly before the episode was shot.

'Supernatural' Resumes Production: See Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles on Set (PHOTO)See Also

'Supernatural' Resumes Production: See Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles on Set (PHOTO)

In addition to sharing a photo from set, executive producer Jim Michaels also revealed the title of the penultimate episode.

As for the final two installments, Ackles calls them "a double whammy." The penultimate offering wraps up the main storylines, while the series finale — titled "Carry On," a nod to the song that's become the show's unofficial anthem — ties up the personal threads. Have tissues ready, according to a photo of a sign Padalecki posted on his Twitter account that said "It Will End in Tears." Predicts Collins: "The fans will be incredibly sad, but they'll be satisfied."

Ileane Rudolph