NCIS showrunner Steven D. Binder has confirmed that a major character will return to the series. Season 19, which will air in September, is seeing a fairly big change in cast. But there will be a familiar face in Agent Fornell. Fornell tragically lost his daughter in season 18. Now, he’ll make more appearances in season 19.
“How about this? I am pleased as punch to confirm for you that Fornell will be appearing soon,” Binder wrote in a tweet responding to a fan.
How exactly Fornell will fit into the narrative next season is almost impossible to say, but many fans are pumped with the surprisingly honest response.
‘NCIS’ Will Have a Major Cast Shakeup Next Season
Fornell will return in a season where familiar faces will be needed. While some of the regulars like Sean Murray and Wilmer Valderrama are definitely returning, agent Bishop actress Emily Wickersham has officially left the show. On top of that, Agent Gibbs actor Mark Harmon’s future on the series is in major question.
Harmon will only appear in a few episodes this year. It’s been rumored, however, that Harmon initially didn’t want to appear in this season at all. Apparently, Harmon wanted to exit the series, but CBS said that if he did, they’d have to cancel it. So in an effort to keep the show on air, Harmon agreed to another season.
With two major characters mostly gone completely, NCIS has added Katrina Law and Gary Cole to the cast as regulars. We don’t know much about Gary Cole’s role, but Katrina Law played Jessica Knight in the last episodes of season 18.
The Change in Cast Has Fans Worried
But many worry that this season could be Mark Harmon’s last. If that’s the case, some fans wonder if the show could survive. One fan expressed their feelings about it in a recent Reddit thread, and it sums up a lot of what some have been saying.
“I don’t think the current cast could carry the show with Gibbs being in a small number of episodes,” the fan wrote. “I think the old cast that was a lot more quirky could. Back when we had Abby, Ducky and Tony. I think the old days of the funny banter between Tony and McGee could carry it. Not this cast.”
Still, not much is known about what Katrina Law and Gary Cole will bring to the table. Maybe their characters can bring some of that quirky likeability back to the cast. And with Fornell along with plenty of other characters returning, it’s not like it’ll be a cast full of strangers.
If you want to catch Season 19, It’ll premiere on Monday, September 20th. It’ll air back to back with the brand new NCIS: Hawai’i starring Vanessa Lachey.