There aren’t many “NCIS” cast members who have been involved with the show since the first episode in 2003.
Brian Dietzen comes close, but he has been playing Dr. Jimmy Palmer on the long-running show since 2004. That makes him the longest-tenured member of the non-original cast. And his 315 episodes have afforded him opportunities he otherwise might never have had. For example, he produced his own award-winning film.
The “NCIS” star landed his role on the hit crime drama when his career was still in its infancy. His first credits came in the early 2000s playing one-off roles on various TV shows. He made his debut on “NCIS” at the end of Season 1, and he hasn’t looked back. Nearly 20 years later, Dietzen is still entertaining as chief medical examiner Dr. Jimmy Palmer.
But his tenure on the Mark Harmon-led show hasn’t prevented him from pursuing other work. Namely, work that is extremely personal to him. In 2012, Brian Dietzen wrote, produced, and starred in an independent film called “Congratulations.”
The film stars Abby Miller, Debra Jo Rupp, and Kevin Rankin. It follows a couple who take a trip to visit Jim’s mother. Jim proposes to Bridget. She declines the offer. But the couple is forced to fake their engagement for the sake of Jim’s mother, who thinks they’re engaged.
“Congratulations” was nominated for best narrative feature at the Oxford Film Festival. And it took home the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Best of 2013 Award. Not too shabby for an “NCIS” star on his first and only official writing credit.
Changes to ‘NCIS’ Cast Raise Questions About Mark Harmon’s Future
After an off-season full of speculation about whether or not Mark Harmon would return to continue playing Special Agent Leroy Gibbs on “NCIS,” fans finally have an answer.
Mark Harmon is staying for the time being. But fans weren’t exactly stoked to learn about the circumstances surrounding Season 19. The addition of Gary Cole to the cast has many concerned that Mark Harmon will take a backseat in the upcoming season before taking his leave from the show entirely.
That fear is justified, considering The Hollywood Reporter’s claims that the additions of Gary Cole and Katrina Law are to help offset the lack of Harmon in Season 19.
“We haven’t shot a single frame quite yet, but with the addition of Gary Cole and Katrina Law to the cast, this is already shaping up to be one of the best seasons yet,” “NCIS” showrunner Stephen Binder told THR. “Going into season 19, we are excited to have new characters and stories to tell that adds to and reenergizes the world we’ve come to love over the 400-plus episodes.”
The new additions to the cast will jump in alongside vets such as Brian Dietzen, David McCallum, and Wilmer Valderrama.