'NCIS' Star Sean Murray Confirms CBS Series Shuts Down Production Over Coronavirus Concerns

NCIS veteran Sean Murray confirmed CBS ended production on the show early due to the coronavirus pandemic. Murray said production will not resume, meaning Season 17 will only run 20 episodes. He revealed the show would resume the story in a potential Season 18, if the show is renewed for next season.

As many of you have already heard, [NCIS] production has been put on hold for the time being," Murray tweeted. "We will wrap our current season with 20 eps complete and plan to pick up where we left off when we begin season 18. Stay safe... we'll see you soon."

Later, Murray clarified that the show has not been renewed, writing, "For those who have brought it up - we have not been officially renewed yet, so in no way am I announcing a pickup or anything. please understand that."

Fans completely understood the decision, even though they did not like it. They thanked Murray for the heads-up.

"Thanks for All the hard work this season," one tweeted. "This fan appreciates it all! So thankful you guys share your talents w us. Hopefully we will get S18 and we can get back on track for the 400th ep & many more. Wishing you all safe & healthy days ahead. Take care. Thanks 4 checking in."

"The upside is that you get to spend more time with your lovely family," another commented. "Thanks for bringing so much to our lives each week - I've got lots of favorite episodes of the show that I love to watch over & over. Stay well, and hoping to see you in Season 18."

"Totally understand [Murray] but I sure will miss watching [NCIS]," another fan wrote. "This season has been one of the best! Surly CBS has the good sense to bring back a great show for another season. Until then-stay well and safe. Thanks to you and the cast for an awesome season!"

Murray stars as Timothy McGee, and has been on NCIS since the show began in 2003. He was originally a recurring star, but was promoted to the main cast in Season 2 and has gone on to appear in more than 370 episodes. He also appeared in JAG, but played different roles.

While CBS is not producing more NCIS episodes, the network does have new adventures with McGee, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the rest of the team for fans to enjoy. The next new episode, "Schooled," airs on Tuesday, March 24.

CBS Television Studios shut down production on NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. Production on Bull and SEAL Team, The CW's Dynasty, Nancy Drew and Charmed, and CBS All Access' The Good Fight has also been shut down. The shows finished the episodes they were working on before calling it a season.

"Over the past few days, we began making decisions to temporarily postpone production on some of our pilots and current series," CBS TV Studios said in a joint statement with Showtime and Paramount TV Studios to Deadline. "At this time, we are evaluating situations on a case-by-case basis, informed by the best information from health experts and government officials. Some productions may continue as long as they do not involve live audiences and/or environments that are considered at risk. The safety and welfare of our production team is our top priority."

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NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo credit: Eddy Chen/CBS