‘NCIS’ Star Wilmer Valderrama Says Show Is Changing It Up in Season 20

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS started production this week for season 20. And with a benchmark season comes surprises, right?

That’s what the cast is promising. Just ask Wilmer Valderrama, who is starting his sixth season playing special agent Nick Torres.

“This season we’re happy to say that we’re doing things you’ve never seen from NCIS before, Valderrama said. “We’re going to change things up and surprise you guys. Get ready.”

OK, we’re ready. The last new NCIS content was back on May 23. That was the season 19 finale, “Birds of a Feather.” But we’re trying to imagine an NCIS change-up following a season of the most significant change of all. Mark Harmon, who played Leroy Jethro Gibbs for 18 seasons and four episodes into the 19th, left the series. Gary Cole’s Alden Parker replaced Gibbs. And Parker, a former FBI agent, didn’t have his own set of unique rules. But the agents busted up the same sort of criminals, with a heavy emphasis on domestic terrorism.

Valderrama dropped the NCIS hints during a cast video he posted on his Instagram page. Cole and Rocky Carroll (Leon Vance) were the only MIA cast members from the fun video. But then again, neither Cole nor Carroll are known for their social media posts.

Hopefully, NCIS Quickly Solves Season 19 Cliffhanger

And, as you can see from the video, Valderrama wasn’t the only actor promising changes and surprises. Brian Dietzen, who portrays medical examiner Jimmy Palmer, said, “There’s going to be new stuff you’ve never seen before. It’s going to be very exciting.”

Presumably, NCIS is currently working on the first episode of season 20 and hasn’t skipped ahead in the first week of filming. That means everyone is working on that major cliffhanger. The Raven, the terrorist leader of a cult, framed Parker for the murder of Parker’s former FBI partner. And we have no idea who the Raven is, other than he/she first was introduced in the episode “The Helpers.” In that episode, Raven wanted to release a poisonous toxin to kill as many people as quickly as possible. Jimmy and Kasie (Diona Reasonover) very nearly became Raven victims.

Cast members promised big changes for NCIS season 20. (Sonja Flemming/CBS)

At the end of “Birds of a Feather,” Parker and ex-wife Viv (Teri Polo) left in her car for parts unknown. In the final few seconds, viewers saw a text message Viv sent that might mean she’s working with the Raven. Or maybe she is the Raven. NCIS hasn’t released much casting info for season 20. But we do know that Polo returns as a recurring character. Aside from her connection to Parker, Viv also has a fascinating job, investigating the paranormal for the government.

So maybe NCIS is adding some UFO cases or other unexplained phenomena to their normal, run-of-the-mill Naval crime and various terrorist cases. Now, Torres chasing aliens would be fun, don’t you think?