Season 19 of the popular police procedural NCIS concluded earlier this week. Season 19 featured both incredible highs and terrible lows, as fans have come to expect from the long-running series.
After the tragic departure of NCIS mainstay Mark Harmon and his fatherly character, Jethro Gibbs, left fans in sh0ck, a few exciting developments, including a new romance for medical examiner Jimmy Palmer, lifted their spirits. To sweeten the deal, David McCallum, who played Jimmy’s mentor, Ducky, appeared in the final episodes of NCIS Season 19.
Ducky (David McCallum), a fan favorite, never fails to brighten any NCIS episode in which he appears. However, he only appeared in four episodes of Season 19, as the 88-year-old actor opted for a reduced schedule beginning in 2017.
Ducky sightings were scarce in Seasons 18 and 19, leaving fans hoping for more of the beloved medical examiner in Season 20. NCIS showrunner Steven D. Binder revealed in an interview with TV Insider following the Season 19 finale that he shares their sentiments. Ducky simply did not fit into Season 19.
“I think it’ll be about the same, if not more,” Binder predicted. “One of the challenges last season was that there was no regular season. It began with all of our attention focused on how to get Gibbs off the show. How do we get him out for the time being? And that requires a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of oxygen.”
“Then we were tasked with incorporating two new characters into the show — [played by] Katrina Law and Gary Cole,” the EP went on. “And that also requires a lot of energy and oxygen.”
The showrunner of ‘NCIS’ praises David McCallum’s ‘Magical Pixie Dust.’
Because Season 20 of NCIS is expected to be less tumultuous than previous seasons, showrunner Steven D. Binder hopes to see more of David McCallum’s character. The producer has a high regard for the legendary actor and is well aware of his impact on the show.
“I tell David McCallum all the time, ‘You are this magical pixie dust.'” “You’re just this magical being who elevates every scene he’s in with that David McCallum gravitas,” Binder said. “So we’d like to have more.” We’ll have a little more breathing room.”
“At the very least, you’ll see him the same amount,” Binder added. “And hopefully, when we do see him, we’ll be able to use him more effectively, much like Mark Harmon.”
David McCallum is a unique member of the NCIS team, and Binder believes that his episodes should reflect that rather than feel rushed. “The fans can probably tell the difference between when we put him in things and he’s just another star on the show and when we devote our energies to making a story more about him,” Binder said. “And those are always amazing. In 20 years, he has never let us down.”
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