NCIS season 19: how to watch and everything we know about the CBS drama

Gary Cole and Wilmer Valderrama in NCIS
(Image credit: Michael Yarish/CBS)

Few shows have reached the height that NCIS has. The popular crime drama on CBS has aired 18 seasons and has spawned multiple spinoffs, including NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans and the new spinoff, NCIS: Hawai’i. But the original NCIS just keeps rolling along, as it is currently in its 19th season.

NCIS, which debuted on CBS in 2003, was created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill, both of whom are still writing for the show. With these veterans pulling the strings behind the scenes, what can we expect from this latest season of NCIS

Read on to find out everything we know about NCIS season 19.

When is the next NCIS episode?

The NCIS season 19 finale airs on Monday, May 23, at 9 pm ET/PT on CBS. Here is the synopsis for the episode, titled "Birds of a Feather":

"When Agent Parker is framed for murder, the team puts their jobs and lives on the line in order to buy time and uncover the truth."

For anyone missing the NCIS in its usual time, it can watch the latest episode on the CBS website or Paramount Plus the day after it airs.

Side note, good news NCIS fans, CBS' long-running series will be back for another go around, as CBS has officially announced that NCIS is coming back for its 20th season.

Will there be an NCIS season 20?

NCIS is already confirmed to return for its 20th season in fall 2022 on CBS. The show is going to keep its time slot from this past season, with it airing on Monday's at 9 pm ET/PT. However, we do not yet know when NCIS season 20 is going to premiere.

What is the plot of NCIS?

NCIS is about the cases handled by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agency from their Washington, D.C., office. The team is led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs as they work each week to solve a specific case.

To start season 19, the team will be dealing with an explosive finale from season 18. SPOILER ALERT if you are not caught up on the latest episodes of NCIS. In the NCIS season 18 finale Ellie Bishop decided to go undercover, with a sad goodbye to Nick Torres; elsewhere, Gibbs believes that a serial killer that he has been tracking is following him. He persists with the investigation though, travelling by boat to try and search for evidence when it suddenly blows up. Gibbs body floats to the surface and appears to be lifeless, however, he eventually swims away.

The first few episodes followed up on this storyline and served as a send-off (at least for now) for Mark Harmon's Gibbs.

Who is in the NCIS cast?

Mark Harmon has been the lead of the series from the start, though we have a SPOILER ALERT for anyone not caught up on the season thus far.

It appears that after solving the case of the serial killer, Harmon's Jethro Gibbs has decided to stay in Alaska, where he has been able to find peace for the first time in a long time. This marks the end of an 18 year and change run for Harmon on the show. CBS and the NCIS creatives were mum on whether he may appear in guest roles somewhere down the line, but for the moment Harmon's time on NCIS is over (in front of the camera, he is still an executive producer).

Here is the rest of the NCIS team for season 19:

  • Sean Murray - Timothy McGee
  • Wilmer Valderrama - Nick Torres 
  • Brian Dietzen - Jimmy Palmer 
  • Diona Reasonover - Kasie Hines 
  • Rocky Carroll - Leon Vance 
  • David McCallum - Donald Mallard 

New to the NCIS cast this year will be Gary Cole, Allie Davis, Pam Dawber and Katrina Law. 

How to watch NCIS

NCIS can be watched live on your local CBS station. You can tune in if you have a cable/satellite pay-TV subscription, a TV antenna or a live TV streaming subscription to services including Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV, as all of these options give consumers in all markets access to their local CBS station. 

With any of these services you also have the ability to watch the latest episodes on-demand through CBS.com, which requires that you provide authentication in the form of login credentials to a compatible service.

Viewers can also opt to stream episodes of NCIS either live at their convenience with a subscription to Paramount Plus. If Paramount Plus subscribers want to watch the show live, they need to make sure they are signed up for the $9.99 Paramount Plus subscription, as it is the only one that offers a simulcast of local CBS stations. For those willing to watch NCIS on-demand, they can do so for the latest episodes (as well as past seasons) on either the $4.99 or $9.99 version of Paramount Plus.

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).