‘NCIS’: Brian Dietzen’s Passionate Explanation of What Makes Jimmy Palmer So Memorable

by Taylor Cunningham

Brian Dietzen has nothing but kind words for his character on NCIS.

Jimmy Palmer has been a staple on NCIS since 2004. He started out as Dr. “Ducky” Mallard’s assistant. And over the years, Palmer has worked his way up to Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team. The doctor is portrayed as a bit geeky and off-beat. But he truly cares for his colleagues, and they can always rely on Palmer for a positive spin in a dark situation.

And for those reasons and more, Brian Dietzen knows that Palmer is an indelible addition to the CBS drama.

“What has made Jimmy Palmer a memorable character over this past decade is the fact that he is a guy who is looking for the positive and is always learning,” Dietzen told Variety in 2017.

The actor added that some people think Palmer “comes across as naive at times.” But Brian Dietzen doesn’t see it that way.

“He’s just always ready to learn and try to put the positive on something.” he continued. “Even in the darkest hours, he’s trying to make something better for himself or for his team.”

‘What Happened’ After ‘NCIS’ Showrunner Died

On September 28, 2016, NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg quickly and unexpectedly died in his sleep. He was only 50 years old. After his passing, the cast and crew of his series were left to move forward without their leader.

Jimmy Palmer actor Brian Dietzen spoke on the loss of Glasberg during a conversation with Variety in 2017. He said that Glasberg’s death came during NCIS’s 15th season. And heartbroken, his fellow producers decided to dedicate the remaining episodes to the showrunner’s memory.

“The remainder of this season, after Gary’s sudden passing – it really meant as a testament to him,” Dietzen shared. “A guy who helped steer this ship towards a hell of a lot of success and another spinoff and all of that.”

Brian Dietzen told Variety that Gary Glasberg didn’t leave the series in shambles. It was quite the opposite, Glasberg had prepared his show for success and his predecessor knew exactly what to do when they had to take over.

“[I’m] just as incredibly sad as we all are that we’re not going to have him there to lead us. It’s a testament to him as a showrunner that when he did pass, he didn’t leave us without a sense of direction. He really had a map going for this year,” Dietzen continued.

To this day, Glasberg’s cause of death is unknown. The legendary producer and writer also left Hollywood with a long list of timeless series such as NCIS: New Orleans, The Evidence, Crossing Jordan, Shark, and The Mentalist.