NCIS

How NCIS Season 21’s Shortened Episode Count Will Change The Show Teased By Star

Wilmer Valderrama teases how NCIS season 21’s shortened episode count will change the long-running show and make the story feel different.

Wilmer Valderrama shares how the shortened episode count of NCIS season 21 will alter the show. The original series, following investigations carried out by the Major Case Response Team in Washington, D.C., premiered on CBS back in 2003. Along with Valderrama, who portrays agent Nicholas Torres, the cast of NCIS has included Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Rocky Carroll, Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover, and more. NCIS season 21 is scheduled to debut on February 12 but will contain only 10 episodes – nearly half the amount of prior installments – due to the 2023 strikes.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Valderrama revealed how different the upcoming season will be because of the shortened episode count. He teased more of a connected story and that, similar to other programs, there will be details from each episode that lead into the next. Read Valderrama’s comments regarding NCIS season 21 below:

Everyone knows it’s a shortened season. We’re doing 10 episodes. Because we’re doing 10 and not your conventional 22, we’ve decided to have a little bit more fun with the new generation of streaming content and really have our show feel like something you have to watch all 10 together. So, yeah, it’s different. You heard it here first. I’m not allowed to say it out loud. I wasn’t supposed to, and now I’m in a lot of trouble, but yes. We’re gonna try to make sure that every time an episode ends, you know, something in that episode is gonna carry over and we’re gonna try because I think it’s time for producers to evolve and the future of content and how it’s being consumed. I think CBS does it better, they know their audience super well. So, I’m really proud of what we’re doing.

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What Will NCIS Season 21’s Story Look Like?

While NCIS does feature storylines that develop over the course of a season or more, episodes are typically structured around individual cases. Valderrama’s comments suggest that season 21 could shift its focus toward a particular investigation or some overarching plot that involves multiple characters. The long-running procedural has managed to connect episodes before for big moments and crossover events with other franchise shows, including the latest team-up with characters from NCIS: Hawai’i and Los Angeles. It’s unknown whether another collaboration will happen, especially in the upcoming season, but viewers would likely welcome one.

During the last episode of NCIS season 20, Valderrama’s character appeared determined to kill someone from his past, though audiences never actually saw him do anything. The brief summary provided ahead of the NCIS season 21 premiere implies that whatever action Torres takes next will be revealed then. Beyond that, it was previously confirmed that the upcoming stretch of episodes will include a tribute to McCallum, who passed away in September. The actor portrayed medical examiner and fan favorite Ducky Mallard throughout the series’ run.

It will be interesting to see what the story for NCIS season 21 looks like and what potentially ties each episode together. For longtime fans of the show, Valderrama’s comments about the changes being made should increase their anticipation of what’s to come.

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