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The NCIS Franchise’s 1,000th Episode: Get Air Date and All Casting News

Stars and creatives from the original NCIS series as well as all four offshoots — NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, NCIS: Hawai’i and NCIS: Sydney — were on hand for a celebration of the well-watched franchise’s 1,000th overall episode, which began filming on Feb. 20.

The full NCIS cast plus co-showrunners Steven D. Binder and David North were joined in the “big orange room” set by visiting NCIS: LA alum Chris O’Donnell and — all appearing via Zoom — onetime NCIS: New Orleans front man Scott Bakula (currently in New York for the Broadway musical The Connector), the NCIS: Hawai’i cast (congregated in their own HQ) and NCIS: Sydney leads Olivia Swann and Todd Lasance.

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Other network and studio brass on hand for the four-digit milestone included NCIS EP Charles Johnson, CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach, CBS Studios president David Stapf and NCIS: Hawai’i co-showrunner Christopher Silber, each of whom spoke at length about the “special sauce” that has fueled the franchise’s ongoing success. (NCIS: Hawai’i co-showrunner Jan Nash appeared remotely.)

NCIS 1000th Episode Date Casting News
Katrina Law, Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Murray and Gary Cole in “A Thousand Yards”Courtesy of CBS

Binder in his speech referred to the procedurals’ reputation in some circles as being “simple” shows, but then spoke of how they are programs a family can enjoy together. To crystalize his point: “‘I love The Handmaid’s Tale! I watch it with my grandmother,’ said no one ever.”

North stepped forth to recall how when he was a production assistant on NCIS‘ sire, he asked JAG co-EP Charles Johnson, “‘Could I be a PA on [the spinoff]?’ And Charles said to me, ‘You know what, David? I’ll move you over there, but you have to understand that in Hollywood, shows like this usually don’t last.’ But I think deep down, Charles knew this one would.”

NCIS lasted, indeed, and here is everything we know about how the franchise will mark its 1,000 episode….

What Is the ‘Episode 1,000’ Storyline?

What Is the ‘Episode 1,000’ Storyline?
What Is the ‘Episode 1,000’ Storyline?

How does one possibly do justice to such a big number, in an episode of the mothership?

In the episode “A Thousand Yards,” NCIS comes under attack by a mysterious enemy from the past. Also, Vance (played by Rocky Carroll) tries to mend fences with his estranged son (Superman & Lois‘ Spence Moore II) by explaining why, despite the ongoing dangers of his job, he still chooses to stay at NCIS.

“One of our own beloved characters is going to end up in grave danger, and you’re go to see all of the different franchises brought into this in a little bit of a different way,” co-showrunner David North told TVLine. Added Steven D. Binder, “There’ll be a personal storyline, and this one will circle around Director [Leon] Vance.”

Will the Episode Feature ‘Easter Eggs’ for Longtime Fans?

Will the Episode Feature ‘Easter Eggs’ for Longtime Fans?
Will the Episode Feature ‘Easter Eggs’ for Longtime Fans?

And how. So when you grab your bag, make sure it includes a large Easter basket.

As the episode unfolds, “We’re going to play plenty of homage to the past,” co-showrunner David North told TVLine. “We’re hoping to put some Easter eggs for longtime fans of the show…,” co-showrunner Steven D. Binder teased.

And some might be verrrrrry teeny-tiny eggs.

“If you’re watching it in 4K, you might have to blow somethings things up,” Binder quipped, “but they’re going to be there.”

For example, TVLine hears that the script itself features a few direct lifts from the first actual NCIS episode, “Yankee White.”

Who Will Appear in the Episode?

Who Will Appear in the Episode?
Who Will Appear in the Episode?

As first reported by TVLine, both Daniela Ruah, who played Special Agent Kensi Blye-Deeks throughout NCIS: Los Angeles‘ 14-season run, and Vanessa Lachey, who currently leads the NCIS: Hawai’i team as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, will “cross over” to the mothership for the milestone hour.

(Though neither Kensi nor Jane will appear “in person” alongside the D.C.-based NCIS team, we hear the characters’ appearances will be quite fun.)

Also appearing in the episode — as first reported by TVLine’s Inside Line column — will be Director Vance’s son Jared, to be played this time around by Spence Moore II. You may recognize Moore from his roles in Superman & Loisgrown-ish, ABC’s The Wonder Years reboot and/or All American.

The role of Jared has previously been played by Khamani Griffin (in Season 6) and Akinsola Aribo (Seasons 9-11).

There’s also an extra-special, blink-and-you’ll miss it appearance to watch for, that I cannot yet divulge….

When Does the 1,000th NCIS Episode Air?

The NCIS franchise’s milestone 1,000th overall episode will air Monday, April 15 at 9/8c, as that week’s episode of NCIS. (In turn — let’s all do the math! — that same night’s NCIS: Hawai’i will be the franchise’s 1,001st episode, and in fact is titled “The Next Thousand.” Ha!)

Like any NCIS episode, this special, Easter egg-filled installment will be available for next-day streaming on Paramount+. Watch a trailer above!

Want scoop on any NCIS show ? Email InsideLine@tvline.com, and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line!

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