Hit CBS drama NCIS had its season cut short in early 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but the show has been renewed for a new season and is due back on air sometime in the fall of 2020.
Viewers have been wondering when NCIS will return for a new season since the previous one ended with quite a few unanswered questions. At the time of the makeshift season finale’s airing, there was no announcement of renewal for season 18, though CBS did announce soon after that the show would get at least one more season.
During the latest new episode, Christopher Lloyd guest-starred as Joe Smith, a man who thought he had served on the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
NCIS regularly pulls in over 10 million viewers, which makes it one of the overall most-watched programs on TV when it’s on air. The two spin-off shows, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans both pull in over 5 million viewers as well, meaning fans will be itching for new seasons of all three shows.
‘NCIS’ Was Renewed for Season 18
In May, CBS announced on Twitter that NCIS was renewed for a new season.
“The story continues,” the NCIS account tweeted. “NCIS has been renewed for an 18th season.”
The only updates since that announcement have come in the form of Instagram posts from actors and a projected return date for filming the new season. On August 14, Nick Torres’ actor Wilmer Valderrama announced that the new season does have a start date for production.
“We have a start date,” he wrote. “This is not a drill ladies and caballeros.. season 18, #NCIS and your boy #NickTorres back on your TVs soon! More to come.”
The New Season Will Likely Begin Airing in November 2020
The earliest the new season of NCIS could air at this point is in November 2020, as CBS has already announced their fall lineup and the show didn’t make the cut for new episodes that will begin airing in September or October.
The show is on the lineup, however, to air on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS. NCIS: New Orleans will air at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights, and NCIS: Los Angeles will air on CBS at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights.
The first episode to be back in production may be episode 399, since at the time of stopping they were just two days away from the start of production on that one.
“All of the prep work was complete, sets were built, the guest cast was set as were locations,” co-showrunner Frank Cardea told TV Line. “Number 400 was set to shoot next, and we will probably still shoot it as 400 and air as 400.”
The episode will mark a huge milestone for the show and will likely draw in a huge number of viewers. According to Cardea, episode 400 has a “very interesting script” written by co-showrunner Steven D. Binder. According to Cardea, the script is about “how Gibbs and Ducky met.”
It’s possible that that script has been reworked or scrapped completely due to the fact that the episode will now take place in the new season rather than during Season 17.
Look out for NCIS on the CBS schedule sometime in November 2020 as the show picks up production in the coming weeks. The season will run into the spring 2021 lineup.