While series 17 was reduced by four episodes after COVID-19 halted filming, the long-running detective series will be airing its 400th episode in the upcoming season, with fans travelling back in time to see the older members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at the start of their careers.
David McCallum, Sean Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham and others will be returning to investigate another round of Navy-related cases, however viewers will be saying goodbye to one particular cast member.
Here’s everything you need to know about NCIS season 18, from its release date to which cast members are reprising their roles in the upcoming series.
NCIS season 18 release date
Series 18 of NCIS is set to premiere in the US at 8pm ET on Tuesday 17th November on channel CBS.
How to watch NCIS in the UK
While FOX TV is home to NCIS in the UK, season 18 does not yet have a release date for fans in Great Britain – however, we’ll keep this page updated as and when the news comes in so watch this space!
What will happen in season 18?
With the show approaching its 400th episode, NCIS has something big planned for its 18th season – a flashback episode featuring a young Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Ducky (David McCallum).
The milestone episode, which was meant to air in the spring but was postponed due to COVID-19, will take fans back to the early days of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ career and his longtime friendship with retired medical examiner Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard.
As for other episodes in the series, season 18 will pick up from where the previous season left off and won’t be addressing the coronavirus pandemic, according to CinemaBlend.
Fans should also expect to say goodbye to Jack Sloane (Maria Bello), as the show will be wrapping up her storyline within the first eight episodes of NCIS season 18, Deadline reported in July.
Earlier this year, CBS announced that NCIS’ 17th season was to be cut short after the COVID-19 pandemic forced filming on the series to halt, resulting in just 20 episodes airing.
In September, the cast and crew did their first table read for series 18 via Zoom, with star Wilmer Valderrama posting on Instagram: “The first table read to #NCIS’s season 18 feels like the beginning of a road to progression, as we get closer to bringing our show back to your homes.”
NCIS season 18 cast
Mark Harmon (The West Wing, St. Elsewhere) will of course be returning to play special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, alongside David McCallum as Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,Sean Murray as Timothy McGee, Wilmer Valderrama as Nicholas Torres, Emily Wickershamas Eleanor Bishop, Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer, Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance and Diona Reasonover as Kasie Hines.
Maria Bello, who’s played Dr Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Sloane since season 15, will be appearing in the upcoming series, she’ll be leaving after eight episodes, while recurring star Cote de Pablo, who plays Ziva David, is unlikely to appear this season after she flew to Paris to reunite with Tony (Michael Weatherly) and their daughter at the end of season 17.
NCIS season 18 trailer
CBS released a trailer for season 18 earlier this year, teasing the long-running detective show’s return.
While the short clip doesn’t give much away, it does reveal that there is a “federal agent in possible danger” in the upcoming season, while a criminal targets the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
NCIS returns on Tuesday 17th November. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.