NCIS: Origins Brings Young Leroy Jethro Gibbs Back to CBS, and We Can’t Wait!


Gibbs may no longer be an active participant in the story on the long-running series NCIS on CBS, but he’s still the apple of the network’s eye.

Today, CBS announced a straight-to-series drama order for NCIS: Origins for the 2024-2025 broadcast season from CBS Studios.

That’s big news for a franchise that just said goodbye to one of its longest-running spinoffs.

Gibbs was always the franchise’s cornerstone until Mark Harmon stepped away from his on-screen role.

As with any character who finagles its way into viewers’ hearts, losing Gibbs was a blow to NCIS fans.

But, now CBS plans on making up for lost time with a new series based on Gibbs as a young man.

The kicker? Mark Harmon returns as the elder Gibbs, narrating the early tales in the life of the character he made famous.

If you’re wondering why he might be returning to the small screen and the character he created but not appearing on the mothership (on which he remains a producer), we may have an answer.

Harmon’s son, Sean Harmon, who played Young Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, will executive produce alongside his father.

This truly is a family affair, with the Harmons reuniting with CBS and the NCIS franchise for a deep dive into a beloved character.

This is how IP should be used; we love an origin story. We are incredibly excited to go back in time with Gibbs when technology wasn’t at the forefront of every investigation.

There’s something about having the world at your fingertips that really eats away at the mysteries of whodunnits, and seeing Gibbs learn what made him so spectacular at his job will be worth the effort.

Might we even see the origins of Gibbs’s rules? I guess we’ll find out!

CBS shared that NCIS: Origins begins in 1991, years prior to the events of NCIS, and follows a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs, narrated by Mark Harmon.

In the series, Gibbs starts his career as a newly minted special agent at the fledgling NCIS Camp Pendleton office, where he forges his place on a gritty, ragtag team led by NCIS legend Mike Franks.

“We are elated and honored to continue the expansion of the NCIS universe in such a unique and unexpected way,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment.

“Viewers can look forward to Mark Harmon returning to CBS to narrate the complex and mysterious backstory of Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ early years in NCIS: Origins, which will build on the rich legacy of this character while reintroducing fan-favorite characters and meeting new ones.”

“There’s no denying the cultural and global phenomenon of the NCIS franchise for the last 20 years,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Studios.

“When Sean and Mark approached us all with this exciting expansion of the universe – exploring a young Gibbs – we knew it was the next story that needed to be told.

“We also couldn’t be luckier to have Gina and David at the helm as co-showrunners who are not only brilliant and adept writers, but know this character and universe so well.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this new chapter to life along with Mark and Sean Harmon,” said executive producers and co-showrunners Gina Lucita Monreal and David J. North.

“This really is the making of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And even the most dedicated NCIS fans will discover that they don’t know the whole story.”

“The character of Gibbs has been an important part of my life for 20 years, both in watching my father craft the role and previously having the honor to play young Gibbs myself,” added executive producer Sean Harmon.

“I always felt there was a tale worth telling about his earlier years, so I am thrilled to be stepping into a producing role alongside Gina, David, and my dad as we tell this story and reveal a new side of this beloved character.”

NCIS: Origins is produced by CBS Studios. Mark Harmon, Sean Harmon, David J. North, and Gina Lucita Monreal will executive produce, with North and Monreal co-writing the premiere episode and serving as co-showrunners.

The series will reunite North and Monreal, who both wrote on NCIS for ten years.

North is currently co-showrunner and executive producer on NCIS. In addition to NCIS, Monreal’s credits include Netflix’s Griselda, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and the upcoming Dan Fogleman/Sterling K. Brown project for Hulu.

NCIS is the world’s most successful television franchise, and it is estimated that in the 2022-2023 TV season, the franchise had over 300 million viewers around the world across all platforms, including broadcast, cable, streaming, and syndication (according to Nielsen and internal data).

That’s no small feat, and this latest addition is sure to kick things up a notch for the original, too. That’s how streaming works.

Do you think this is a good use of franchise IP?

Share your excitement and theories about the new series in the comments below.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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