Is ‘NCIS’ Poised for Season 22? Brian Dietzen Says, ‘Why Limit Ourselves to 1,000 Episodes?

Initially, there was speculation that Mark Harmon’s departure from NCIS might coincide with the series finale. However, Harmon exited four episodes into Season 19, and the show has not only persisted but flourished. Now in its 21st season, the NCIS franchise—which includes NCIS: Hawai’i, NCIS: Sydney, and the concluded NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans—celebrates its 1,000th episode on April 15. Given this milestone and the series’ continued success, a renewal for Season 22 seems all but assured, underscoring the show’s remarkable longevity.

“I’m hoping so as well,” series star Brian Dietzen (who has played Dr. Jimmy Palmer since Season 1) tells TV Insider. “I think that no one ever wants to count their chickens, but I think that the show has been doing really well. And why stop at 1,000? I feel like we’re halfway there. We want a clean, even 2,000. We’ll just keep it rolling.”

“I was shocked. I thought that was an institution that would never move,” admits Dietzen. “But I’m really happy that since the move, our fans—I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am—followed us and said, no, we’re going to keep watching this thing and make sure that this is still—I think it was this last year, we were the most viewed scripted show on television, still even opposite Monday Night Football. I think we all understand how blessed we are on that set.”

He credits the enduring success of the show to its characters. “What we’ve achieved is a synergy between our writers and actors in developing these characters. Since Don Bellisario founded the show 21 years ago, his priority was ensuring each character stood out distinctly,” he shares.

“This approach means our show doesn’t just chase current headlines. Instead, the stories emerge from the characters themselves. For instance, if there’s a case involving a young girl’s kidnapping, you’ll understand how Gibbs will respond based on his past, just as Torres [played by Wilmer Valderrama] will have his unique reaction based on his experiences. And when a story touches on loss, you can predict Vance’s [Rocky Carroll] and Jimmy Palmer’s emotional responses. It’s this deep character knowledge that drives our narratives.”