‘NCIS’ Season 20 Kicks Off With a Must-See Episode

NCIS is about to start season 20 on Sept. 19, 2022. When the first episode airs, the show will officially reach a milestone. Only a few scripted dramas have lasted as long, and CBS plans a massive, must-see, season-opening spectacle to celebrate.

Actors Jason Antoon (from left), Katrina Law, Sean Murray, Vanessa Lachey, Wilmer Valderrama, and Rocky Carroll on the 'NCIS' Season 20 set. 'NCIS' Season 20 kicks off with a double-barreled season premiere that will help lay the foundation for the rest of the season.
Actors Jason Antoon (from left), Katrina Law, Sean Murray, Vanessa Lachey, Wilmer Valderrama, and Rocky Carroll on the ‘NCIS’ set | Robert Voets/CBS

‘NCIS’ almost never existed

Before it spawned hit namesake series such as NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, and the more recent NCIS: Hawai’i, NCIS relied on another series to get its start.

NCIS was a backdoor pilot in the show JAG, but that show almost didn’t last long enough to spawn NCIS. JAG lasted 10 seasons overall, but NBC canceled it before the end of the first season. CBS swooped in and un-canceled it, and JAG lasted long enough to launch NCIS.

The start of NCIS’ 20th season will go all-out with a must-see episode.

‘NCIS’ Season 20 starts with a must-see crossover episode

NCIS had several standout episodes in season 19, and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) of the Washington, D.C., crew paying a visit to the island to help the NCIS: Hawai’i team with a case was another highlight. The back-to-back season premieres for both shows will see agents from both teams help out the other.

In the NCIS debut, Special Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) remains on the run with his ex-wife Vivian (Teri Polo) after being framed for murder. Parker’s team investigates who might have a personal vendetta against him in hopes of clearing his name, and it brings in Special Agent Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) and computer specialist Ernie Malick (Jason Antoon) from the Hawai’i office for help.

The NCIS: Hawai’i Season 2 premiere sees Tennant’s team, along with NCIS agents Torres and Jessica Knight (Katrina Law), track Parker’s potential nemesis to Oahu.

The NCIS writing teams excel at weaving together storylines from the drop every season, and it seems the crossover premieres will follow suit by setting the cornerstones for the rest of the season. 

Both seasons premiere air Sept. 19 starting at 9 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+.

What to expect in season 20

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‘NCIS’: Jessica Knight Actor Katrina Law Reveals Her Favorite Episode So Far

The landmark 20th season of NCIS figures to keep the twists and turns coming, but we know a few things to expect.

Katrina Law’s Jessica Knight is new to the team, but she already has a budding romance with Brian Dietzen’s Jimmy Palmer. Team romances built slowly over the years (Torres-Ellie Bishop and Anthony DiNozzo-Ziva David, for example), but the producers and writing team have already expressed interest in fast-tracking the Palmer-Knight relationship and exploring that dynamic.

Polo appeared as Parker’s ex-wife in two season 19 episodes, but Vivian figures to be a much more prominent character in season 20.

Mark Harmon and his Agent Gibbs character became synonymous with NCIS over the first 19 years, but the actor exited last season. Harmon could return in the future, but it likely won’t come in season 20. 

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