'NCIS' Season 19 Premiere Promo Reveals Gibbs Fate After Cliffhanger Finale

NCIS returns for season 19 on Sept. 20 in a new Monday night spot, and CBS released the first promo for the premiere episode on Friday and confirmed the fate of Gibbs (Mark Harmon): he's still alive! Season 18 ended on a massive cliffhanger, with Gibbs' boat blown up and his body nowhere to be found. However, in the promo trailer, the final shot Is a bloodied but still breathing Gibbs floating amongst the wreckage. Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), McGee (Sean Murray), and the rest of the team are racing against the clock to find their beloved boss, declaring that "he's family."

The first episode, "Blood In the Water," sounds like an episode that will have some major twists and turns. "As the NCIS team searches for Gibbs after wreckage from his boat is discovered, they find out he was tracking a serial killer with journalist Marcie Warren (Pam Dawber), who wrote an exposé on him," reads the episode's official description.

While the season ended with the character swimming off away from the scene, fans still had plenty of questions about where Gibbs will end up in Season 19. In an interview with TVLine, NCIS showrunner Steven D. Binder shared a bit about what fans can expect from Gibbs when the next season premieres on Monday, Sept. 20.

Binder explained to the publication that there were many ways that this scene could have played out. The showrunner said that they actually filmed different versions of the scene to determine what felt right in regards to Gibbs' story. In the end, they decided to leave his story open-ended. So, fans will have to tune in to the Season 19 premiere of NCIS to see what happens next. Binder said, "And what we left with was something that we felt left all possibilities open. We know he's not dead right there, and we know he's able to swim well enough…. All things are still possible with Gibbs."

Luckily, fans won't have to wait too long to see how Gibbs handles this precarious ordeal. According to Binder, the premiere will pick up exactly where things left off in the Season 18 finale. The producer shared, "Gibbs has been hunting down this serial killer and he's doing it alone." (TVLine did make sure to mention that Gibbs isn't navigating this terrain completely alone, as he has some help from investigative journalist Marcie Warren, who is played by Harmon's wife, Pam Dawber.) Binder continued, "He's cut off from his team … but in the beginning episodes, that's going to change."

Elsewhere in Binder's interview with TVLine, he stressed that Gibbs would factor into next season's events. Despite some rumors about Harmon's NCIS future, fans can rest assured that the actor's well-known character will appear on TV screens this fall. Binder explained, "What we're trying to focus on right now is telling the best stories we can with the characters we have — and Gibbs is a part of that world. And I think we're doing a pretty good job with that."

Even though Gibbs will appear on the next season of NCIShe will appear in fewer episodes than usual. Harmon previously signed a "limited" commitment for Season 19. As a result, he will reportedly appear in "a few" episodes during the course of the season. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.