‘NCIS’ Star Sean Murray Reveals McGee Was Originally Just Supposed to Appear in 1 Episode

The long-awaited premiere of NCIS season 18 is finally coming in November after more than six months without new episodes. Ahead of the premiere, Sean Murray (Timothy McGee) had a fun conversation with Studio 10 in Australia about his NCIS journey. During the interview, Murray revealed that he was originally just supposed to appear in one episode.

NCIS Sean Murray Mark Harmon
‘NCIS’ stars Mark Harmon and Sean Murray | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

CBS finally shares their plans for season 18 of ‘NCIS’

According to Newsweek, NCIS was one of the few network TV shows that’s been able to return to set and schedule a fall premiere. Earlier this month, CBS finally shared their plans for season 18 after the pandemic cut last season short by four episodes.

The cast and crew returned to work in early September. They began shooting episodes that they weren’t able to finish back in the spring. This includes the procedural’s special 400th episode that will reportedly jump back in time to when Gibbs (Mark Harmon) met Ducky (David McCollum).

When CBS released their fall line-up, they announced that NCIS will premiere on Tuesday, November 17. The network also revealed that they would air fan-favorite episodes from the first 17 seasons of NCIS on Sunday nights beginning on November 8.

The spinoffs NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Los Angeles will also premiere on Sunday, November 8. New episodes of all three series will be available to watch on the CBS website and app – as well as CBS ALL Access – after they premiere on the broadcast network.

Sean Murray reveals McGee was supposed to be a 1-episode guest star

Ahead of the season 18 premiere, Murray spoke with the Australian show Studio 10. The actor didn’t spill any secrets about the upcoming season, but he did look back on his 17 seasons on the CBS drama.

Murray revealed that McGee was originally intended to be a one-episode guest star during season 1 in 2003. The character was a rookie agent helping out the NCIS team, and he says that everything just “clicked.”

He explained that two episodes later, the show was three minutes short. This prompted producers to bring back McGee for a little “C’ story. After that, the character started to slowly appear in more and more episodes.

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“Towards the end of that first season, it just felt like things were clicking right and gelling right,” Murray explained. “It was working. Everyone felt it. It was really great to be invited full-time onto the show, and it’s been an incredible experience.”

After playing the character in a recurring role during season 1, McGee became a full-time cast member in season 2 where he has remained ever since.

The ‘NCIS’ star says McGee has changed ‘quite a bit’ over the years

Murray admits that McGee was just a “stumbling rookie agent” when he first appeared on NCIS 17 years ago. The actor notes that he’s had the opportunity to play a character that’s changed “quite a bit” over the years.

McGee has evolved from having zero social skills to being a senior agent on the team. The character has become a “really good agent” and led a number of cases, Murray says. He added that McGee “excels at what he does,” but he’s also progressed in his personal life.

During his 17 seasons on the show, McGee has gotten married and become a father. Murray notes that this changed the character significantly.

“It’s always been, you know progressing. Which to me is a really important thing,” Murray explained.

The actor also talked about how his appearance has changed during his time on the show. He noted that he’s been on NCIS for almost 20 years, so his appearance obviously changed. But, he did admit that he got lazy on set when it came to craft services.

That fact wasn’t lost on Murray, who explained that he’s now making healthier food decisions. When he started taking better care of himself, the weight started to fall off. He added that when his weight changes, it “really shows” on his face.

Season 18 of NCIS premieres Tuesday, November 17 on CBS.