'NCIS' Is About to Film a Very Special Episode

NCIS is filming a very special episode this week. Fresh off the exit of Mark Harmon's lead character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the show has been trying some new things, such as having Alden Parker (Gary Cole) join the team. The NCIS crew is also taking a fresh swing behind the scenes, as well. Actor Brian Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer on the show, has now co-written an episode. As the star revealed on Instagram, it is a first for him after being in front of the camera for 322 episodes and counting. (Note that every episode of NCIS is currently streaming on Paramount+.)

"In a word... grateful. You guys, I got to write a script of [NCIS] with my pal [writer/executive producer Scott Williams] and it's been a great adventure so far," Dietzen wrote. "We jump into filming this bad boy after the Thanksgiving weekend, and I couldn't be more excited. It's my first time writing for the show, and it's been a great experience. I'll keep you guys updated along the way. So pumped to share this with you all. Giving many thanks this week!"

As shown on a pictured script, this is slated to be Season 19's 13th episode, making it NCIS' 431st installment overall. Dietzen did not reveal any more specifics about the episode, including its title or plot. No broadcast date has been set for the installment, either, but it will presumably air in spring 2022.

This will be the second season in a row that Dietzen has been the special focus of an episode. In a Season 18 episode, he shined in front of the camera in a powerful episode dealing with loss. Jimmy's wife dies of COVID-19, and he is left to pick up the pieces.

"I think that unfortunately in our country — and across the world I should say -- that's been the case for a lot of folks who have dealt with COVID so closely," Dietzen told Entertainment Tonight of the episode. "Certainly as a medical examiner, he would have dealt with the lines on his face from his N95 mask he'd worn 12, 14 hours a day dealing with bodies. And a lot of times these folks who are working closely with COVID, whether it's a medical examiner or respiratory doctors, pulmonologists, they have lost people in their lives because of their proximity to the disease. Prior to the vaccine, there was no way to protect other people from it, aside from the prophylactic procedures of masks and gloves. 

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"I think that was one of the interesting and obviously heartbreaking things about this disease that we've all seen, is these people on the front line were working as doctors who are working as EMTs who have had to go through heartbreak on their own. And yet they're asked to just continue working because if they stop working, then we don't have our frontline there for us anymore. In many ways, this episode turned out to be a recognition of people who have lost others during this pandemic. If you wanted to get more specific about it, it's about our frontline workers and about people who have helped us deal with this pandemic going through their own trials and continuing to show up for the rest of us."