Austin Stowell Set To Play Young Version of Mark Harmon's Leroy Jethro Gibbs In New NCIS Spinoff? Report

Austin Stowell has landed the lead role in NCIS: Origins, the CBS prequel series about a younger version of Mark Harmon's flagship NCIS character.

Published on Mar 05, 2024  |  12:51 PM IST |  65.3K
Austin Stowell
Austin Stowell (Getty Images )

In a press release shared with PEOPLE, it was announced that the Austin Stowell has been cast as a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs, initially portrayed by Mark Harmon, in the next installment of the crime-fighting franchise titled NCIS: Origins.

NCIS: Origins, a prequel set in the 1990s, is expected to feature new actors in roles unknown to fans. Mark Harmon is confirmed to be narrating the role of Leroy Gibbs. Harmon's son Sean is not returning as young Gibbs, despite playing the part on multiple occasions. Vera Strickland will be portrayed as a young version, with the role originally played by Roma Maffia not yet cast. Gibb's mentor Mike Franks will also be prominently featured in the prequel series, but Muse Watson is unlikely to return to the role.

Austin Stowell is set to play young Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Austin Stowell has scored the read role of a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the upcoming prequel series NCIS: Origins. Mark Harmon who played Gibbs for nearly two decades in the mothership series, will serve as the show’s narrator and executive producer.

The series which is set for 2024-2025 broadcast, set in 1991, follows Gibbs as he begins his career as a special agent on a ragtag team led by NCIS legend Mike Franks, following his journey before NCIS. NCIS: Origins will follow Leroy Gibbs in the 1990s as he joins NCIS at Camp Pendleton, learning from legendary agent Mike Franks and partner Vera Strickland. The show will blend procedural elements with character drama, showcasing Gibbs' rise through the ranks and his investigative skills, ultimately earning him the position of Supervisory Agent.

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Austin Stowell (Getty)

The idea of exploring Gibbs’ early years originated with Sean Harmon, who recurred on NCIS, playing the younger version of Mark Harmon’s character in seven episodes from 2008-2020. Along with his father, who starred as Gibbs on NCIS for more than 18 seasons, Harmon approached Monreal, North and CBS Studios about expanding the NCIS universe with a Gibbs-centered offshoot.

Sean Harmon is executive producing a new series, alongside Mark Harmon, Monreal, and North, who co-write the premiere episode and serve as co-showrunners. North will continue his role as executive producer and co-showrunner on the mothership.

Harmon who starred on NCIS as Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the show's premiere in 2003, left the series in 2021 after a 19-season run on the show.

"The character of Gibbs has been an important part of my life for 20 years, both in watching my father craft the role and previously having the honor to play young Gibbs myself,” Sean Harmon said. “I always felt there was a tale worth telling about his earlier years, so I am thrilled to be stepping into a producing role alongside Gina, David and my dad as we tell this story and reveal a new side of this beloved character.”

NCIS: Origins is taking a route that proved successful for another flagship CBS series, comedy The Big Bang Theory, which spawned a successful prequel, Young Sheldon, about the early years of one of the lead characters.

“We are elated and honored to continue the expansion of the NCIS universe in such a unique and unexpected way,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment. “Viewers can look forward to Mark Harmon returning to CBS to narrate the complex and mysterious backstory of Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ early years in NCIS: Origins, which will build on the rich legacy of this character while reintroducing fan-favorite characters and meeting new ones.”

Mark Harmon (Getty)

Stowell, on the other hand, is known for his roles in A Friend of the Family and The Hating Game starring opposite of Lucy Hale. He also appeared in the limited series, Catch 22, starring alongside George Clooney, Chris Abbott and Hugh Laurie.

His other credits include Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories and Public Morals, as well as Battle of the Sexes beside Emma Stone, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, 12 Strong opposite Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon and Whiplash alongside JK Simmons.

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More about NCIS

NCIS is an American military police procedural television series and the first installment in the NCIS media franchise. The series revolves around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres with comedy.

The concept and characters were initially introduced in two episodes of the CBS series JAG. A spin-off from JAG, the series premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS. To date, it has entered into the 20th full season and has gone into broadcast syndication on the USA Network. Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill are co-creators and executive producers of the premiere member of the NCIS franchise.

As of 2022, NCIS is the third-longest-running scripted, live-action U.S. prime-time TV series currently airing, surpassed only by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present) and Law & Order (1990–2010; 2022–present); it is the seventh-longest-running scripted U.S. prime-time TV series overall.

NCIS also surpassed Gunsmoke's record for longest running scripted primetime television series to air on CBS. On January 5, 2024, it was announced that the prequel, NCIS: Origins, will be aired during the 2024–25 season as another spin-off series, while a second spin-off following Ziva and DiNozzo was announced on February 28, 2024 as a show exclusive to Paramount+.

ALSO READ: How Did NCIS Say Goodbye To David McCallum's Ducky? Here's What We Know About The Special Episode After Actor's Death

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