May 23, 2024

CBS Greenlights “NCIS: Origins” Prequel Series Exploring Young Gibbs

Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 6, 2024

CBS has given the green light to “NCIS: Origins”, a new prequel drama that will explore the early days of fan-favorite character Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Key Details About the Prequel Series

According to several reports from entertainment news outlets, here are some of the key details that have been revealed about “NCIS: Origins” so far:

  • The series will be set in the 1990s and follow a young Gibbs after he returns from fighting in the first Gulf War. His early days as an NCIS agent will be depicted.
  • Esteemed actor Mark Harmon, who has played Gibbs on “NCIS” for nearly 20 years, will narrate the series and serve as an executive producer. His son Sean Harmon is also executive producing.
  • Harmon may potentially appear on camera in flashback scenes as Gibbs, but that has not been confirmed yet.
  • CBS has given the show a series commitment, meaning if the pilot is approved the network plans to air a full first season.
  • “NCIS” showrunner Steven D. Binder is attached as an executive producer and writer. Other writers from the franchise will contribute scripts.
  • The target is reportedly to launch the series in Fall 2024, possibly airing on Tuesday nights alongside the flagship “NCIS” show.

Why CBS Is Revisiting Gibbs’ Origins Now

The prequel show has likely been a long time coming for CBS and the creative team behind the massively successful “NCIS” universe. Some analysts see multiple reasons why revisiting a young Gibbs makes sense:

  • Allow Mark Harmon to remain involved after departing “NCIS”: Harmon left the flagship show in 2021 after 19 seasons playing Gibbs. This prequel series lets him pass the torch while still contributing creative guidance behind the scenes.

  • Take advantage of built-in “NCIS” fanbase: By focusing on such an iconic character, CBS knows they’ll draw in a sizable audience from the start.

  • Expand growing “NCIS” TV universe: In addition to the original series, which is still posting strong ratings, CBS also airs “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: Hawaii,” and “NCIS: Sydney”. Fleshing out Gibbs’ backstory provides more connective tissue.

  • Tap into popular trend of origin stories: Audiences have proven they respond to exploring the early days of characters they’re already invested in. Examples include “Better Call Saul,” “The Young Sheldon” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

How Will the Prequel Series Connect to “NCIS” Mythology?

Part of what will surely excite “NCIS” fans the most about this prequel show is seeing iconic moments from Gibbs’ past that have been referenced on the flagship show before – but never seen unfolding on screen. Some storylines from the young Gibbs era that seem ripe for exploration include:

  • Gibbs meeting his future wife Shannon and daughter Kelly
  • Gibbs serving as a Marine Scout Sniper during Operation Desert Storm
  • The murder case Gibbs worked on alongside his mentor Mike Franks to join NCIS
  • The tragic loss of Gibbs’ wife and daughter that has defined who he is today

Beyond depicting these pivotal moments from Gibbs’ early career, the prequel series may also drop easter eggs or plant seeds tying into present-day events on the flagship “NCIS” series. For example, certain cases the young Gibbs works or characters he encounters could have ripple effects that echo decades down the road. This would reward longtime fans by illustrating how all the shows truly exist in a cohesive shared universe.

What to Expect From the Next Steps

All signs point to CBS expressing strong confidence about “NCIS: Origins” becoming a fixture on their primetime lineup. But there are still some boxes left to check, such as:

  • The pilot being written and picked up to film: The network ordering a series doesn’t guarantee the pilot script or filmed episode will meet their standards. But with the experienced Binder guiding the ship as showrunner, it seems unlikely this would be an issue.

  • Casting of the actor playing young Gibbs: Finding just the right talent to embody Mark Harmon’s mannerisms while bringing their own spin will be crucial. Expect a lengthy talent search and chemistry reads.

  • Securing a suitable air date and timeslot: Industry insiders predict Tuesdays at 9 PM or 10 PM would be the most logical slot to launch with in Fall 2024. This positions “NCIS: Origins” right after the flagship show and enables cross-promotion.

The journey of Leroy Jethro Gibbs has clearly captivated audiences for 19 seasons and over 400 episodes of “NCIS”. This newly announced prequel has a chance to expand on that special appeal while evolving it for a new chapter – hopefully with many more iconic moments yet to come.

What Other “NCIS” Stars Are Saying

Though Mark Harmon and network executives have yet to issue official statements, some of Harmon’s longtime “NCIS” co-stars have taken to social media to react to the prequel series pickup:

David McCallum (plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard):

Thrilled for @SeanHMHarmon and his father that the world of #NCIS continues to grow and evolve. When one door closes, another opens! Congrats!

Wilmer Valderrama (plays Nicholas “Nick” Torres):

How cool is THIS!? A digitally de-aged @MarkHarmon giving us the backstory of Gibbs?! Ummm the inner fanboy in me is geeking out 🤓😎 Congrats buddy!

Brian Dietzen (plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer):

Could not be more excited to see the NCIS world expanding even more! Gibbs has been at the heart of our show for 19 seasons, so I totally understand the desire to dig deeper into what motivates him. Huge congrats to @MarkHarmon and @SeanHMHarmon!

Diona Reasonover (plays Kasie Hines):

Young Gibbs?! Sign me up!! 😍 This show already has a built in fanbase that’s gonna go crazy over this idea. Super smart move, CBS!

Sean Murray (plays Timothy McGee):

Mark Harmon IS Gibbs…it’s impossible to imagine anyone else pulling this off. Thrilled my good friend gets to keep the legacy going strong in a new way!

This fun social media buzz seems to foreshadow an outpouring of fan support once “NCIS: Origins” makes it to air.

Who Else Might Cameo or Guest Star?

Though Mark Harmon’s narrator role and producer credit is the only confirmed talent attachment so far, speculation is already swirling about what other “NCIS” veterans could potentially pop up:

David McCallum (Ducky): As NCIS’ Chief Medical Examiner going back over three decades, it’s very likely Ducky crossed paths with Gibbs in the 1990s. Appearing as his younger self would showcase more of their early dynamic.

Ralph Waite (Jackson Gibbs): The late actor played Gibbs’ father on several episodes of “NCIS” before passing away in 2014. Incorporating newly filmed flashback footage of a young Jackson could provide valuable insights.

Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto): Gibbs and Abby were extremely close on “NCIS”, making cameo spots to highlight their first meeting or case worked likely. However, Perrette’s controversial exit from the flagship may complicate matters.

Joe Spano (Toby Fornell): FBI senior agent Fornell has a long history with Gibbs, both professionally and personally. Jump back in time to showcase their alliance being forged.

There are also opportunities to feature fresh faces as young versions of characters like Mike Franks (Gibbs’ mentor), Leon Vance (current “NCIS” Director), Jack Sloane (previous NCIS Agent) and even Diane Sterling (Gibbs’ oft-mentioned second wife). Casting directors will surely be hard at work in the coming months assembling possibilities for both well-known regulars and newly created roles.

Why Gibbs Resonates with “NCIS” Fans

From the very first season of “NCIS” back in 2003, former Gunnery Sergeant Leroy Jethro Gibbs immediately leapt out as the series’ signature character. Through his steely gaze, trademark gut instincts, no-nonsense attitude and unwavering dedication, Gibbs left a lasting impact on viewers.

But equally as important as his hardened outer shell and investigator prowess has been the heartbreaking moments exposing Gibbs’ past trauma. Losing his wife Shannon and young daughter Kelly to violence sent him on a quest for justice, while still battling immense grief. This duality gives dimension and depth to Gibbs unmatched by any other member of the ensemble.

Looking deeper into the formative chapters that molded Gibbs really provides the missing puzzle pieces to better grasp this complex and magnetic character. His military service, the mentor figures teaching him the ropes, fateful choices that made him who he is today – these all compose the rich tapestry that is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And that’s what will entice devoted “NCIS” fans to eagerly tune into “NCIS: Origins” week after week when it premieres.

Potential Story Approaches for “NCIS: Origins” Season 1

As the writers’ room assembles to break stories and scripts for the first batch of episodes, pondering how to structure season-long narrative arcs will become a top priority. Here are two possible approaches the creative team may consider taking:

(1) Chronological Timeline Structure (2) Thematic Flashback Structure
Start with Gibbs returning home from Desert Storm trying to cope with PTSD Open with a formative tragedy for present-day Gibbs (e.g. frantic search for Phineas, the boat named after his daughter)
Meet Gibbs’ first wife Shannon and witness key relationship milestones Trigger a flashback to how Gibbs met Shannon and tie meaning back to the present storyline
Build the romance through courting, wedding, pregnancy, Kelly’s birth Feature action-driven flashbacks to Gibbs in combat operations separated by emotional anchors grounding his struggle today
Explore Gibbs in boot camp bonding with fellow Marines who re-enter his orbit at NCIS Explore the parallel of mentors who betrayed Gibbs in the past Vs. mentors supporting him now
Show Gibbs leveraging combat skills to excel at sniper schoolhouse Spotlight how solving Kelly’s murder and losing his team shaped Gibbs more than any prior case
Finale with the fatal shooting case that killed Gibbs’ family Finale centered around parallels – history repeating with daughter’s death and second chance through (Eileen? Diane?)

Either approach allows the prequel story to unfold chronologically while using the framework of “NCIS” in the present day as a gateway to jump back into formative past events. This lets the series gratify longtime fans by expanding on references they recall, while also welcoming new viewers just discovering Gibbs’ world. And ultimately, this provides a vehicle to examine how adversity and anguish transformed an ordinary man into the storied, principle-driven NCIS legend audiences have adored for nearly twenty years.




AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post