‘NCIS’: First Episode of 2022 Will Be Directed by Director Vance Actor Rocky Carroll

by Shelby Scott
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“NCIS” is already prepared for another year on CBS. Just after the New Year, the hit series plans to air a new episode, “Pledge of Allegiance,” on January 3rd. Still, Outsiders continue to mourn the departure of longstanding lead agent, Special Agent Gibbs. However, we’ve recently learned long-reigning cast member, Rocky Carroll, plans to kick off 2022 with the new episode directed by none other than the “NCIS” director himself.

Carroll has played the honorable and occasionally deplorable “NCIS” director, Leon Vance, since way back in season five. Since joining the “NCIS” cast, Carroll has directed more than his fair share of episodes. So kicking off 2022 with an episode directed by our “NCIS” director marks a special event for the actor. The fact is especially true after such a tumultuous start to the season.

In directing an impressive collection of “NCIS” episodes, Carroll has additionally earned himself a very special nickname. Known as “Director, Director,” Carroll explained in a sit-down with ET that going between acting and directing can be confusing. Despite his authoritative roles, on- and off-screen, it’s often he who forgets his lines or needs to reshoot a scene.

The iconic “NCIS” actor shared during the sit-down, “[In] being behind the camera and then stepping in front of the camera to act sometimes, I don’t shift gears as quickly as I’d like to.” The actor further quipped, “So who’s the guy who forgets his lines in the middle of a scene? It’s often me.”

Rocky Carroll is One of ‘NCIS’s’ Few Longstanding Cast Members

Rocky Carroll is by no means one of “NCIS’s” most senior cast members. However, there’s also no doubt he has played a major contributing role on the hit show for quite a while. After joining the cast permanently in 2008, Rocky Carroll has played Director Leon Vance for a consecutive 13 years. Although paling in comparison to Mark Harmon’s 19 years on “NCIS,” he’s seen quite a few beloved cast members come and go. And despite the harsh transitions fans experience each time a fan-favorite character leaves, it appears Mr. “Director, Director” looks on the bright side of this multitude of changes.

Back when season 15 was just underway, the “NCIS” actor shared how cast members departures truly affect him. In speaking to the frequent changes, Carroll shared, “I think it does affect me,” however, he soon makes it clear that it differs in the way cast transitions affect fans.

“I think it’s in a very positive way.” He continued explaining that as recurring cast members build a deeper and longer relationship with “NCIS,” showrunners and writers are left with certain avenues to pursue regarding each particular character. However, Carroll shared, “you told so many stories, and some of them you told more than once, so when you bring in a new character, it opens up so much stuff creatively. So for me, I enjoy it.”