NCIS Season 21 release updates, strike delays, cast, and more

We’re still waiting for NCIS Season 21 to arrive. What do we know about the season so far? What’s with the delay? Here’s everything you should know.

As much as we would love to see a new season of NCIS already, it’s not happening. That’s not to say it never will; it’s just that the show isn’t premiering this fall as we usually see it.

This is all due to the strike delays. The WGA went on strike in May 2023 and then SAG-AFTRA went on strike in July 2023. All of this has led to a shutdown of production. Without production, there are no episodes. And we definitely don’t want the unions accepting a deal that is anything but fair.

What do we know about the season so far? A lot could change, and we will keep this post updated. For now, here’s what we know.

When will NCIS Season 21 premiere?

Don’t expect a premiere any time soon. CBS did want to bring the show back in fall 2023, but the strikes prevented that. We will have reruns in the fall, but we won’t get new episodes until 2024 at the earliest. It’s not clear when the earliest is going to be, though.

We can’t say anything until the writers and actors go back to work. That’s taking a long time.

How many episodes are in NCIS Season 21?

Usually, we get around 20 episodes per season. That’s not going to happen this season. The last we heard, production needed to restart by Labor Day Weekend to get us 13 episodes to the broadcast shows’ seasons. That hasn’t happened.

The episode count is now going to depend on how long the strike delays happen. CBS won’t want to push any of the big shows into the summer, so it’s going to be as many episodes as will fit into whenever shows can start back up and May 2024.

Who will star in NCIS Season 21?

We’ve not seen any confirmed exits for this season. We’re expecting everyone to come back, including David McCallum as Ducky. Of course, we’re only expecting McCallum for a couple of episodes here and there as he continues to take a backseat from acting.

Here’s a look at the main cast members we expect to see return:

  • Gary Cole as NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Alden Parker
  • Sean Murray as NCIS Senior Field Agent Timothy McGee
  • Wilmer Valderrama as NCIS Special Agent Nicholas Torres
  • Katrina Law as NCIS Special Agent Jessica Knight
  • Diona Reasonover as NCIS Forensic Specialist Kasie Hines
  • Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer 
  • Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance

We also hope to see Joe Spano back as former FBI Agent Fornell. This would only be for a guest spot here and there, but we’re ready for it.

What will happen in NCIS Season 21?

Since the writers haven’t gone back to work, we have no idea what to expect this season. There are no teases at all. However, we can look at the final episode of last season to get an idea.

We left Nick Torres in an interesting situation. He was sat in someone’s house; someone connected to him and his family. He is willing to kill this man, but that puts his whole career and freedom on the line. Will he kill the man? What happened in the past? We’re ready to find out.

NCIS is available to stream on Paramount+.