NCIS: Origins Prequel Spinoff Casts Austin Stowell as Young Gibbs

This year’s wave of NCIS spinoff news continues with the casting of a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the prequel series NCIS: Origins.

TVLine has learned that Austin Stowell has been chosen to play a thirtysomething version of the character that onetime NCIS front man Mark Harmon made famous. NCIS: Origins was ordered to series in early January and will air on CBS during the 2024-25 TV season.

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TVLine hears that Stowell, whose recent TV credits include Peacock’s A Friend of the Family miniseries, beat out several high-profile TV vets — including a few listed on TVLine’s list of recommendations — to land the plum role.

The newest chapter in the NCIS franchise will be narrated by Harmon as it explores Gibbs’ early years. Origins picks up in 1991, years prior to the events of NCIS, just as Gibbs is starting his career as a newly minted Special Agent at the fledgling NIS Camp Pendleton office. There, Jethro forges his place on a gritty, ragtag team led by franchise legend Mike Franks (who was played on the mothership by Muse Watson). TVLine previously reported that NCIS: Origins will also feature a young version of Special Agent Vera Strickland, Franks’ onetime partner played by Roma Maffia in a Season 11 NCIS episode.

Mark Harmon’s son Sean Harmon — who has played a younger version of Gibbs in several NCIS flashbacks, and who came up with the idea for NCIS: Origins — will executive-produce the new series along with his dad and co-showrunners Gina Lucita Monreal and David J. North.

Stowell’s early acting career included a lead role in the 2011 film Dolphin Tale (and then its 2014 sequel). More recently in film, he costarred in Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island, The Hating Game (opposite Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale) and the James Franco-led indie The Long Home.

Stowell’s TV credits, meanwhile, include an arc on The Secret Life of the American Teenager plus guest spots on shows such as 90210, a Season 2 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles (as PFC James Winston), Hulu’s Catch-22 adaptation and, most recently, the role of FBI Agent Walsh in the Peacock miniseries A Friend of the Family.

To date, the well-watched NCIS has spawned NCIS: Los Angeles (which ran for 14 seasons), NCIS: New Orleans (whose seven-season run ended in May 2021), NCIS: Hawai’i (now airing Season 3) and the first International edition, NCIS: Sydney (which recently aired Season 1 Stateside and is awaiting word on possible renewal).

NCIS: Origins is but one of multiple new offshoots to be announced in recent weeks.

TVLine famously reported that a yet-to-be titled, Europe-based NCIS spinoff revolving around Tony DiNozzo, Ziva David and their daughter Tali has been ordered to series, reuniting franchise vets Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo, who will also exec-produce.

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