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NCIS And NCIS: Los Angeles Now Facing New COVID-Related Delays, But It's Not All Bad News

ncis season 19 cast parker mcgee knight torres
(Image credit: CBS)

NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles have already made their triumphant returns to TV in 2022 with some notable episodes, but both long-running CBS shows are facing some unfortunate delays. Both have been affected by the surge of COVID with the highly-contagious Omicron variant. Still, this isn’t bad news on par with what fans got during the 2019-2020 TV season just yet, as there’s some good news. 

Knight and Torres in office on NCIS Season 19

(Image credit: CBS)


NCIS reportedly had a positive COVID test in the zone including the cast members and those who work directly with them, and Deadline states that the positive test is thought to be one of the actors. At the time of writing, the show still plans to continue filming for the crossover with NCIS: Hawai’i, which was just announced and will take two stars to the Aloha State to air on CBS in March.

It’s possible that more delays and changes could happen as the situation develops, but NCIS: Hawai’i at least isn’t facing any delays. The original series has gone through a lot of changes in Season 19 after losing one star at the end of the previous season and then Mark Harmon bowing out as Gibbs.

eric christian olsen ncis los angeles cbs

(Image credit: CBS)

As for the Los Angeles-based spinoff, Season 13 isn’t even returning to production until February, but that doesn’t mean that fans will run out of new episodes within the next couple of weeks. The delayed return is a precaution rather than because of any positive tests or outbreaks on set. CBS reportedly has enough episodes already filmed and finished that a delay in production in 2022 won’t set NCIS: LA back, although that’s assuming that more prolonged shutdowns aren’t necessary in the coming months. 

These are some high-profile delays, particularly in light of the vaccine that helped some of the biggest shows on television get back into production after a couple of shorter-than-usual seasons. The Omicron variant is highly contagious with breakthrough cases, and a surge has been expected after the holidays due to travel. More delays are likely within the entertainment industry moving forward; based on the shutdowns of 2020, that could pack a big punch for broadcast TV shows in particular that generally don’t have too many episodes in the bank. 

The two NCIS franchise series aren’t the only CBS shows to be affected by COVID already in the new year, as one of the FBI shows is said to have stopped production briefly for contact tracing. It’s not clear which of the FBI shows this was, as thanks to the fall premiere of the latest spinoff, CBS has FBI, FBI: International, and FBI: Most Wanted on Tuesday nights. A lot may depend on where certain shows are produced, and whether they require on-location filming. NCIS and NCIS: LA are both California productions, whereas others of TV’s biggest shows film elsewhere, like New York and Chicago.

Hopefully NCIS will be able to resolve its COVID situation as swiftly and safely as possible so that production can continue as usual, and we’ll have to wait and see how many episodes NCIS: LA has already in the can if it can’t resume production in February. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more of the latest in TV news, and be sure to take a look at our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule for the shows that still have yet to premiere in the new year.

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