‘NCIS’ Star Sean Murray Teases the End of Season 18, But Is It Also the End of the Series?

NCIS is more than halfway through season 18, and fans have more questions than ever about the series’ future. CBS shortened the season down to just 16 episodes, and they are now in production on the season finale. Is it possible this season’s finale episode could also be the end of the series?

Mark Harmon, Sean Murray and the rest of the NCIS team investigates a man overboard fatality from a Navy destroyer at sea. Also, Torres is frustrated with Vance's assignment to mentor three high school students, on NCIS, Tuesday, Feb. 26
Mark Harmon and Sean Murray on the set of ‘NCIS’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

CBS has confirmed the air date for the ‘NCIS’ season 18 finale

Even though season 18 is much shorter than previous seasons of NCIS, the air date of the finale will be a little later than normal. According to CarterMatt, CBS has confirmed that the season finale will air on Tuesday, May 25.

Even though this is a later date than fans are used to, it’s still before Memorial Day, which has traditionally marked the end of the network broadcasting season. The reason CBS is able to hold off until that later date is because they’ve taken a number of breaks this season when it comes to airing new episodes.

For example, the most recent episode of NCIS aired on March 16. But, the next new episode won’t air until April 6.

How will the story end?

After the cliffhanger in the most recent episode, fans have more questions than ever about how this season will end. In Season 18, Episode 10 “Watchdog,” Gibbs (Mark Harmon) was taken away in handcuffs and suspended “indefinitely” due to his behavior while working on a case.

It appears that Gibbs won’t be leading the team in upcoming episodes. And some fans are wondering if this means that season 18 will be Harmon’s last. Rumors have been swirling that the 69-year-old actor is ready to say goodbye to the CBS procedural. However, it’s not clear if the network would be willing to continue the show without him.

Will ‘NCIS’ return for season 19?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, when Harmon heard that CBS would end NCIS if he left, the star and executive producer started talking with the network about appearing in a handful of episodes if they would agree to renew the series for season 19. But there’s no guarantee.

Star Sean Murray (McGee) has indicated on Instagram that they are currently shooting the season finale. After 18 seasons, there’s absolutely no way NCIS would be shooting the final episode of the season without knowing if they would be coming back. If this is the series finale, that’s something writers have to know.

RELATED: ‘NCIS’ Season 18: The Hits Just Keep on Coming — Why Is Mark Harmon’s Leroy Gibbs in Handcuffs?

As one of the longest-running dramas on network TV — and one of CBS’ most valuable IP’s — fans can be certain the network will give this series a proper sendoff. The writers and producers must know if season 18 is it for NCIS. However, they haven’t made that information public just yet.

New characters will appear during the final episodes of season 18

While CBS is keeping the fate of NCIS on the down low, they have revealed that two new characters will appear in the final episodes of this season. Hawaii Five-O star Katrina Law will be making her debut as NCIS REACT Special Agent Jessica Knight.

Deadline revealed that Law’s character is “a formidable REACT Team agent who specializes in hostage negotiations and handles daily high-risk operations with skill and precision.”

Law is set to appear in the final two episodes of season 18, and some fans theorize she could become a series regular if NCIS continues. Mark Harmon’s wife — Mork & Mindy star Pam Dawber — is also slated to appear in a four-episode arc beginning with the April 6 episode titled “Gut Punch.” Fans can’t wait to find out what her character’s relationship with Gibbs will be.

The season 18 finale of ‘NCIS’ is confidential

When Murray teased fans about the NCIS finale, he posted a pic on Instagram that featured the script. But, he did cover up the title of the episode, as well as the names of the writer and director.

What Murray did show was that the top of the page was labeled “confidential.” The official episode number on the script was “1816-418.” That’s all the info Murray was willing to reveal about the finale. In the caption he wrote, “grab yer gear, baby… it’s go time. #ncis #nciscbs #seasonfinale.”

NCIS airs Tuesday nights on CBS.