How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?
Credit: CBS

Will the beloved team of special agents return for a short season? Continue reading to find out more about NCIS Season 21.

It looks like the ongoing strikes have finally made their stop at the doors of NCIS Season 21 due to which the production of the show’s new season has also come to a complete halt as it has been confirmed by Brian Dietzen himself! He recently shared this update on his official Instagram handle with a long caption reflecting on the ongoing strike by adding, “Now back to work … eventually?” he added. “Til then, I’ll be on the picket lines. Hope your summer is going great!”  

He also confirmed that he planned on participating in the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) writers’ strike as he personally wrote two episodes of NCIS, which have become a topic of debate among the fans as they are curious to know if the next season has been shortened in terms of the official episode count due to the strikes, which will cause delays in the filming and the completion of scripts once the situation reaches a resolution. The fans are wondering if the network will opt to avoid a longer season this time around, as the strikes have already caused a significant disruption in various industries! 


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If you are wondering the same, then we can assure the readers that the chances of NCIS Season 21 being reduced to 18 episodes are not far-fetched! The production of this beloved show has come to a sudden halt, and even if it gets resumed later this year and the network decides to release the season in the first quarter of 2024, the impact on the episode rollout will be badly affected and not remain consistent in case the network decides to renew a 22nd season for the 2024 fall schedule, which will leave little to no time for the writers to start writing new episodes, causing major disruption! 

Hence, it will make sense for the CBS network to reduce the episode count as a part of cost-cutting or the ongoing strikes, which will help to conclude the run of the 21st season earlier rather than stretching the plot unnecessarily. There is another alternative to compensate for the few count of episodes the network can opt to make the 22nd season (if renewed) a supersized one, which will make the fans happy and the network consistent with the series plotlines and character arcs without compromising much with the quality of content being produced. 

Of Course! This is just our assumption, and anything can happen moving forward. But in the end, it’s not unlikely to claim that NCIS Season 21 will consist of fewer episodes than the standard 22-episode count. 

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

NCIS Season 21 Release Date: When will it premiere on CBS?

The filming of the new season hasn’t even begun yet, due to the ongoing strikes, which include SAG-AFTRA, otherwise known as the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, has joined hands with the WGA, or the Writers Guild of America, who have joined the picket lines together, due to which the production of major series across major networks has come to a stop until a proper resolution regarding the actor’s and writer’s compensation is made, which has already started to cause delays in the release of the new seasons.

Right now, it looks like the entire CBS’s 2023-24 fall broadcast schedule is about to be revised just like ABC until next year, as there is no guarantee as to when the two strikes will reach an agreement. It will take quite some time to properly begin the production, which usually commences around the summer season, but due to the ongoing strikes, many networks had to shift their 2023–2024 primetime schedule! 

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

As a result, there seems to be little to no chance that NCIS Season 21 will premiere in 2023!

In conclusion, CBS might aim to confirm a new schedule in the coming weeks, with the ideal release window for NCIS Season 21 set for sometime around 2024, with the new episodes airing at the same time slot every Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and later on Paramount Plus, in order to avoid any further disruption caused by the strikes and disclose new details in the near future! It’s only a matter of time before the modified broadcast schedule becomes known to the viewers.

Until then, we ask fans to be patient and keep an eye on social media channels for more information on the probable release date, which will ultimately be acknowledged.

NCIS Season 21: What to expect from the next season?

Not much has been revealed, but we are sure that the show will be true to the theme, which follows: NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it’s a show that focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team forced to work together in high-stress situations.

From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties. The next season will definitely pick up major plotlines from the final episode of NCIS Season 20, “Black Sky,” which is directed by Diana Valentine and written by Brendan Fehily and David J. North.

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

In the episode, viewers got to see that Torres finds himself in prison as the team tries to stop an impending terror attack on U.S. soil. A major cliffhanger from the previous season’s finale will serve as inspiration for the upcoming season’s storyline expansion and resolution of all unanswered questions.

On the other hand, the main cast members who are expected to reprise their roles are as follows: Sean Murray as Timothy McGee, Wilmer Valderrama as Nick Torres, Katrina Law as Jessica Knight, Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer, Diona Reasonover as Kasie Hines, David McCallum as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance, Gary Cole as Alden Parker.

Lastly, the series is created by Donald P. Bellisario, and NCIS is produced by Bellisarius Productions in association with CBS Studios. Steven D. Binder, Chas. Floyd Johnson, Mark Horowitz, Mark Harmon, Scott Williams, David North, and Bellisario serve as executive producers.

How many episodes will be in NCIS Season 21?

NCIS Season 21: Frequently Asked Questions

When was NCIS Season 21 renewed by CBS?

Earlier this year, on February 21, 2023, CBS renewed NCIS Season 21, for which the network has not set a release date but it is expected to be rescheduled for a 2024 premiere only if the ongoing strikes don’t reach an agreement, which will inevitably cause delays in the production and make sense to set the release window for the next year in order to overcome any further hurdles.

What is WGA?

The Writers Guild of America (WGA)—representing 11,500 screenwriters—went on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike is the largest interruption to American television and film production since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as well as the largest labor stoppage the WGA has performed since the last strike in 2007–08.  It has coincided with a SAG-AFTRA strike as part of a broader Hollywood labor dispute.

What is SAG-AFTRA?

On July 14, 2023, the American actors’ union SAG–AFTRA went on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It has coincided with a Writers Guild of America strike as part of broader Hollywood labor disputes. The strike marks the first time that actors have initiated a labor dispute in the U.S. since the 1980 actors strike and the first time that actors and writers have walked out simultaneously since 1960.

Where to watch NCIS?

If you haven’t been able to keep up with the seasons, then you can watch all the earlier episodes of NCIS exclusively on the CBS website or the CBS app, depending on the user’s location, as it is available to watch after it’s broadcasted on the CBS channel. The viewers may also watch as it airs live through platforms like YouTube TV, FuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV.

The series is also available on Paramount Plus, FuboTV, and Netflix, along with all the prior seasons. The viewers can also stream the series by renting or purchasing it on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and Google Play, with a vast number of membership plans. Moreover, the series is also available to watch exclusively on Pluto for free based on the viewer’s location. 

Is there any official teaser or trailer?

Unfortunately, the network hasn’t released any full-length teaser trailers for the new season, as filming hasn’t even commenced, which makes it impossible for the network to create and promote a teaser with new clips from the upcoming season to reveal some plotlines. Hence, we urge the readers to wait and be patient for some time!

In the meantime, check out the official sneak peek for the 20th season’s finale episode, which gives a little bit of insight into the plot below:

NCIS 20x22 Sneak Peek Clip 3 "Black Sky (Season Finale)"

Catch up on the previous seasons, and let us know what you think of NCIS being renewed for Season 21 in the comments.