We've known for a while now that NCIS was bringing in a slew of characters for Season 14. The new actors include Wilmer Valderrama, Jennifer Esposito and Duane Henry, who first joined the series at the end of last season but who will now be returning as a regular. While fans of NCIS are still reeling a little bit from the loss of Michael Weatherly, Wilmer Valderrama recently revealed that we should brace for other changes when the CBS drama returns. Namely, the entire dynamic of the show is going to change:
The dynamic of the show has definitely evolved into something else. I think fans are going to be very surprised. Some of the new characters that are coming in are channeling something else and challenging the genre. So we're doing some things that are very different than the fans have seen before. So I'm excited.
Speaking with TV Line at Comic-Con, Wilmer Valderrama also joked about how much space the new characters are going to take up. (Note: they won't all fit around DiNozzo's old desk.) But it's clearly going to be interesting to see how the show figures out what it wants to be in Michael Weatherly's absence, especially considering the way the actor's character ended up leaving the series. Without the Gibbs/Weatherly relationship, the show is going to be forced to try something new.
This sort-of goes along with some other comments that Wilmer Valderrama made during his time at Comic-Con this past weekend. He mentioned that his character essentially came back from a deep undercover operation and many people thought he was dead. Also, unlike DiNozzo and Gibbs' quirky father and son sort of relationship, Valderrama's character won't really be getting along with Mark Harmon's when he returns to life within the NCIS. So, that's definitely going to be a change. Also, don't expect Harmon to playfully head slap the new cast; they need to develop their own "things."
As for the whole "challenging the genre" part of Wilmer Valderrama's comment, I'm a little more skeptical. NCIS is heading into its fourteenth season, and although the CBS drama has totally managed to weather storms like losing cast members, it's hardly reinventing the wheel at this point. Still, having new life breathed into the series should only be a good thing.
At least we know NCIS is no danger of going anywhere, anytime soon. About four months ago, CBS decided to renew the network drama for not just one but two seasons. The show is currently schedule to be on the air into 2018 and will be officially returning for Season 14 on Tuesday, September 20 at 8 p.m. ET. You can find out when the rest of your favorite shows will be returning with our fall TV premiere schedule.