By Paul Simpson
Sean Murray has been a fixture on NCIS since its very first season, back in 2003, initially making a guest starring appearance as agent Timothy McGee, before his character joined as a “probie” agent properly in season 2, and worked his way up the ranks to Senior Field Agent after the departure of Tony DiNozzo in 2016.
He’s still as enthusiastic about the show as he’s ever been, explaining during a Zoom call to promote the 18th season that even before COVID, because of the nature of filming, often the cast haven’t necessarily been aware of quite how popular the show is until they are on break.
“I remember travelling to France years ago and I couldn’t believe how big the show was,” he told press including RadioTimes.com. “People were outside my hotel, it was wild, and in Germany, it was wild. At one point years ago I was in the Bahamas and a guy at the front of the boat, he knows the show backwards and forwards. This guy was the last person I would ever think would watch NCIS so it seems to be a show that reaches corners everywhere. It’s amazing, it really is amazing.”
NCIS has run for nearly two decades, and has two spawned very successful spin-off shows in NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. Cast members have come and gone – notably Michael Weatherly’s DiNozzo and Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David – yet it remains incredibly popular. Since 2008, it has been consistently in the top five network shows across the entire season, placing second for the curtailed 17th year. But how long does Murray think it will continue?
“I don’t know,” he says honestly. “Who knows? It’s weird, it takes on its own thing. I’ve no idea.
“It’s interesting: NCIS is almost a world in itself. It’s gone through many iterations over the years, it seems, and there have been times where people thought it wouldn’t be able to pull through [the departures of key characters] and it has, many times. So it’s interesting, you never know what’s going to happen.
“As long as they let us keep making this and we keep telling good stories, and it’s interesting and fun to do, I hope we get to do it for as long as it’s good.”
NCIS season 18 premieres on Friday 22nd January at 9pm on FOX in the UK, with the show’s 400th episode airing on Friday 29th January at 9pm – find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide