‘NCIS’: Was There an Alternate Season 5 Finale Planned Instead of the Episode That Aired?

by Anna Dunn

Some NCIS fans are speculating that there was an alternate ending to the season five finale. At the time season 5 aired, huge writer’s strike-shortened production of the show, but most think that instead of scrapping the season five finale altogether, they made it episode eighteen instead of episode 24.

The question was prompted by what happened to season 17, which was shortened by four episodes due to COVID-19. One Reddit user questioned if the same thing happened to season 5. Other fans were quick to jump in.

“During season 5, the writers went on strike so the number of episodes was cut. Judgement Day was most likely the ending but instead of it being ep18 it was probably going to be ep24. Season 17 was shortened to 20 eps due to [Covid],” one fan wrote.

Another fan noted that a season 5 storyline was cut short.

“They were supposed to have additional episodes to explore Jenny’s illness that never got completed in the writer’s room,” they wrote. “Season 17 ended with The Arizona because of shutdowns for COVID. The Arizona is one of my top 10 favorite episodes, so I’ve got [no] problems with it being special.”

So while season five was cut short, fans don’t seem to think it would have had an alternate ending.

‘NCIS’ Season 19 Will Have A Major Cast Shake-Up

NCIS season 19 is planned to air its traditional amount of episodes this year, but it may not look too traditional. In a move that could prove lethal to the show, actor Mark Harmon is stepping back. He’s only set to act in a handful of episodes, and there’s no guarantee he’ll even come back at all for a 20th season.

Meanwhile, Ellie Bishop actress Emily Wickersham has officially departed the series, leaving to pursue other projects. She officially confirmed her departure after the season 18 finale, which found her character leaving the squad behind to go undercover.

To manage these losses, production has added two new(ish) faces to the series, Katrina Law and Gary Cole will become full-time cast members this season. Law joined the series as a guest last season as Agent Knight. Agent Knight is fiery, determined, and willing to bend the rules to get her co-workers out of a jam.

We don’t know much at all about Gary Cole’s character. Cole will play Special Agent Alden Park. According to Deadline, however, he will not serve as a complete replacement to Agent Gibbs. Whatever the case may be with these two new actors, it’ll be interesting to see how the show continues to fare without Gibbs front and center.

Season 19 Will Premiere in September

NCIS has faced a lot of challenges when it comes to casting changes. And, as fans are pointing out, It’s also had to cut two seasons short. Hopefully, nothing will slow down NCIS season 19, which is premiering on September 20th.

The show’s time slot is also changing for the first time in a long time. It’ll air on Mondays this year instead of Tuesdays to serve as a lead-in for the all-new NCIS: Hawai’i. Its other spinoff still on air, NCIS: Los Angeles will continue to air on Sunday nights.