NCIS has breezed past another television milestone, as its episode count following “Unusual Suspects” on February 27 is now at 450. The CBS series continues to make it look easy with the way it consistently churns out episodes that keep fans entertained, even when swapping out former cast members for new ones. Veteran actor Sean Murray recently spoke about that and had some glowing praise for his current cast mates that has me thinking their journey as an ensemble has only just begun.
Sean Murray’s Tim McGee has been a fixture on NCIS since its very beginning, so the actor has seen a lot of co-stars come and go over the years. Murray shared a bit about his unique position of seeing current co-stars like Katrina Law and Gary Cole join the cast, and the transition of new actors and how they come into their own on the crime procedural. The actor told EW they often welcome actors to set before their official start date, sharing:
…They come to us and they see that it’s friendly and that we encourage the positive dynamics. Everyone seems to just kind of fall in. I’ve watched everyone do it. I’ve seen Katrina (Law) do it. I’ve seen Gary (Cole) do it. I’ve seen Emily (Wickersham) do it. I’ve seen everyone kind of just come in and feel that vibe and pick up on it and go with it. And I do think that shows through in the performances. Especially this current ensemble seems to have such great chemistry.
Considering the number of ensemble lineups McGee has been a part of since joining NCIS, that’s high praise coming from Sean Murray. Anyone with a Paramount+ subscription can pop on any random episode and see him sharing scenes alongside a number of memorable co-stars, so it should be encouraging to hear he feels so good about the current cast. Sean Murray continued to shower his castmates with praise and further talked up Wilmer Valderrama and others. Murray ran down the list of the usual actors he’s sharing scenes with and what he loves about each of them:
I love Gary to death. Gary is fantastic, and I’m having so much fun with him. Wilmer (Valderrama) is a brother to me. He and I are very, very close and have been since in the seven years I’ve known him. And Katrina is a blast. I mean, Katrina is so cool. I always joke that Katrina was like built by network television to perform a role perfectly in a show because she’s just that good.
If the current NCIS team is as close with each other as advertised, then one can’t help but think it’s a good omen for the continued longevity of the CBS series. The series has already been renewed for its 21st season, inching it that much closer to the 500-episode mark. It’s a major milestone for the series, which is one of the longest-running primetime live-action shows currently on television.
Should NCIS manage to hang on for 636 episodes, it’ll surpass Gunsmoke as the longest-running primetime live-action series on television. Granted, that goal is still a long way away, and it’s lagging behind Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s 531 episodes and counting.
Still, Sean Murray’s confidence in the NCIS cast has me wanting to believe it’ll pass the major milestone and become the longest-running primetime live-action show of all time. The show has already gotten past the hard part of replacing Mark Harmon, so I could definitely see this show surviving another decade.
NCIS airs new episodes on CBS on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. As mentioned, the series is already prepping to return for Season 21 and, hopefully, many more episodes after that.