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The Top 3 Things NCIS Fans Want To See For The Future Of The Series

Few shows have been around as long as CBS's popular crime drama "NCIS," which debuted in 2003 and is based on a real-life organization known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The series follows a fictional team of NCIS agents as they solve crimes related to the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. It has been on long enough that children born during the show's first season have either graduated high school or will do so soon. And the story isn't over yet.

Earlier this year, CBS renewed "NCIS" for Season 19, with star Mark Harmon agreeing to return as Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a role he originated on another series, "JAG." But Harmon is expected to appear in a limited capacity, with TV Line reporting he will only be popping up in just "a few" episodes. The news came on the heels of Emily Wickersham, who played Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop for eight seasons, departing the series at the end of Season 18. Actors Gary Cole and Katrina Law have since joined "NCIS" as series regulars for Season 19 to fill out the team as special agents Alden Park and Jessica Knight, respectively. But given Wickersham's exit and Harmon's impending departure, fans of the show, which has been one of CBS's highest rated shows for years, are on high alert and have taken to Reddit to discuss the future of the series and what they want to see happen as it begins this new chapter.

NCIS fans want McGee to step into Gibbs' shoes

With nearly two decades under its belt, "NCIS" has had a lot of cast turnover throughout its run. But there is one person who has stuck around through it all that many fans want to see rise to the top of the NCIS food chain. They agree Senior Field Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) should get to step into a leadership role, perhaps even taking over for Gibbs once he officially retires and Harmon exits the series for good.

The character of McGee has come a long way since the beginning of the show. Murray appeared on a recurring basis in Season 1 when McGee joined the team as a probie — essentially a rookie and the newest member of the team — and was upped to series regular for Season 2. Now he's a senior field agent. As Reddit user realclowntime notes, the character has had an excellent arc and has been thoroughly developed over the years. "I'm always looking forward to seeing him adapt and advance," they write.

U/ManateeGag agrees with that assessment, writing, "My wish is that they end the series with McGee taking over as the team leader when Gibbs retires. He starts the series as a Probie and ends as the Supervisory Agent." Meanwhile, u/sebo1715 takes it even further, revealing they hope to see McGee's career further evolve to the point he ends up taking over for Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll). 

But that's not all "NCIS" fans hope to see in the future.

Fans want to see more healthy relationships

While most "NCIS" fans agree about the need for McGee to further develop as a leader, u/whispering_unicorn would also like the show to feature more healthy relationships than just McGee and his wife, Delilah (Margo Harshman). Although they don't get into any specifics, the truth is "NCIS" rarely features romantic relationships, at least not ones that have any true staying power. Gibbs has dated women over the years but the relationships never last, probably because he's still not over the death of his first wife and their daughter, which predate the series.

Meanwhile, when two characters do have romantic feelings for one another, like in the case of agents Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), the show tends to dance around the issue as long as possible, rarely showing them spending time alone together or only confirming their relationship in roundabout ways. Bishop and Nick Torres' (Wilmer Valderrama) relationship featured a similar slow burn after Bishop's marriage came to an end. Spending more time on depicting happy and healthy relationships out in the open in the future would definitely be beneficial to the show and the ongoing development of its characters. It might even help "NCIS" survive Harmon's impending departure.

Fans also want to spend more time with Kasie

In addition to McGee's evolution and wanting more healthy relationships depicted in the series, there is one other thing some "NCIS" fans would like to see before the show signs off for good, and that is the exploration of Diona Reasonover's Kasie Hines, who is the team's dedicated forensic scientist. "[She] is one of my favourite characters across the NCIS world and I'd absolutely love to see more storylines around her," writes U/realclowntime.

Reasonver joined the cast of "NCIS" on a recurring basis in Season 15 as an assistant for chief medical examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum). However, after Pauley Perrette, who played forensic scientist Abby Sciuto for 15 seasons, departed the series, Reasonover's Hines stepped into Abby's admittedly very large shoes. Reasonover has been a regular since Season 16, and we still don't know too much about her. So digging into her character more would definitely be beneficial.

Whether any of these wishes for the future of "NCIS" come to pass is obviously up to the show's writers, but they'd be wise to listen to the show's fans, especially as the show heads into uncharted territory this season.

"NCIS" Season 19 premieres Monday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c on CBS.