'NCIS' Season 18 Premiere Will Feature Return of Fan-Favorite Character

NCIS fans are in for a big treat because it's been revealed that the Season 18 premiere will feature the return of a fan-favorite character. T.C. Fornell, played by actor Joe Spano, is coming back to work with Gibbs (Mark Harmon) on a case that's gotten personal. Fornell is a former FBI Special Agent who is good friends with Gibbs and also occasionally works with the NCIS Major Case Response Team.

Fornell, who is now retired, works as a private investigator. In the Season 18 premiere of NCIS, he's coming back to get Gibbs' help with tracking down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to his daughter. While the old friends are busy with that, the rest of Gibbs' team is dealing with a case of a cadaver that's gone missing from the NCIS autopsy room. NCIS Season 18 kicks off on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Notably, Season 17 of NCIS was forced to end early, due to mass film and TV production shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Series co-showrunner Frank Cardea previously spoke to TV Line about what had been planned for the finale, and revealed that the show would have had "a very surprising ending" but "did not have a cliffhanger," per say. "We do plan to go forward with the episode in the early part of Season 18 but will probably reevaluate the ending when the time comes," he went on to share.

Cardea also shared that the show's creative team has "a lot of flexibility" with the episodes they did film. "We can pretty much air the first six episodes in any order that we choose," he explained. Ahead of the NCIS Season 17 premiere, Cardea spoke to ET and offered some insight into what fans could expect to see during that season. "Some of our other characters are going to go find out new things about each other, certainly Kasie (Diona Reasonover), who is the newest member of our cast. We also advance the relationships amongst our existing characters," he said. Seasons 1-15 of NCIS are currently streaming on Netflix, but CBS All Access subscribers can watch at 17 seasons now.