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NCIS Season 21 Premiere Date Confirmed By CBS After End Of Actors Strike

After a long, arduous strike spanning months and interrupting the fall television season in the process, the Screen Actors Guild finally won a historic deal. That means many productions are eyeing quick turnarounds, so various cable and broadcast TV series can still get some episodes out during the 2023-2024 season. That's good news for fans of the long-running series "NCIS," as it's returning for an astounding Season 21. According to Variety, "NCIS" will air new episodes starting on Monday, February 12 at 9 p.m. It will be followed by the spinoff, "NCIS: Hawai'i," which will debut its Season 3.

As is the case with most series coming out in the aftermath of the SAG-AFTRA strike, there won't be as many new episodes in "NCIS" Season 21. CBS shows, in particular, are expected to air between 10 and 13 new episodes throughout this season, which will take place from February to May 2024. As a result, the third week of February is going to be a busy one for CBS, as it will also contain season premieres for the likes of "Young Sheldon," "Ghosts," and "Blue Bloods," to name a few.

The NCIS Season 21 premiere will be bittersweet for fans

Despite shortened seasons for many people's favorite shows, audiences will probably be happy they're at least getting something. However, while "NCIS" coming back for Season 21 is a big, positive deal, fans of the series may not look forward to one aspect of the season. David McCallum, who played Ducky on 20 seasons of "NCIS," passed away on September 25 at the age of 90. He only appeared in a few episodes of "NCIS" Season 20, but he was always a welcome presence. Now, viewers will have to adjust to a new "NCIS," one without Ducky's presence.

It's unlikely McCallum filmed anything for a new season prior to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes starting. Which means that unless there's archival footage, Ducky likely won't be part of the forthcoming season. However, the show will likely find a way to address Ducky's absence, which may be even harder on some fans' emotions.

It's been a rough go for "NCIS" fans in recent years, as long-running lead Mark Harmon, who played Special Agent Gibbs, left in Season 19. Perhaps Gibbs will return in Season 21 to offer some heartfelt parting words for Ducky. That remains to be seen, but no matter how "NCIS" Season 21 decides to send Ducky off, it'll more than likely pay tribute to the beloved character in a way that'll bring tears to viewers' eyes.