The premiere date of the new season of NCIS has been revealed. As mentioned by TVLine, CBS has set premiere dates for its upcoming fall shows, and the 18th season of NCIS will begin airing on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET. This episode will come a little over one week after the 12th season of NCIS: Los Angeles and the seventh season of NCIS: New Orleans will premiere (Nov. 8).
"Also of note, 'Fan Favorite' episodes from NCIS' previous 17 seasons will close out Sunday nights starting Nov. 8, presumably until Queen Latifah's The Equalizer is ready to join the mix (where it will lead into NCIS: LA and New Orleans)," TVLine stated. Season 17 of NCIS ended with a storyline that included Christopher Lloyd as Joe Smith, a Pearl Harbor survivor. The end of the finale saw Gibbs (Mark Harmon) traveling to Hawaii for a ceremony of Smith's passing. However, when Season 18 premieres, fans will see the Gibbs who went off the grid earlier in the season.
"We had an episode last year called 'Musical Chairs,' where Gibbs disappears from the squad room to go on a mission, and then he shows up at the end of the episode with a black eye," Steve Binder, NCIS co-showrunner, said to TVLine. The first few episodes of Season 18 will fill in the blanks of Gibbs' disappearance as it wasn't explained in Season 17. "We are going to pick up Season 18 with that mission that Gibbs was on, back in time," Binder stated. Because of this backward time jump, the show will be "in a pre-COVID world for a little while."
After that storyline is done, the crew will start dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. They reportedly began filming the 18th season on Sept. 9, as it was delayed due to the pandemic. They were filming under strict guidelines to help slow the spread of the virus.
The new season of NCIS will also have some changes as it teamed up with 21CP Solutions, law enforcement and public safety advisory group to help improve the portrayal of characters in uniform. "Having an audience of millions of viewers each week comes with a great deal of responsibility," R. Scott Gemmill, the showrunner for NCIS: Los Angeles, said, per TVLine. "This new partnership will help us ensure that our storytelling continues to produce accurate portrayals of law enforcement, and will hopefully allow us to play a small part in the ongoing reform moving forward."