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NCIS delights fans with exciting announcement amid season 21 delay

The upcoming season will likely arrive in 2024

Sean Murray, Gary Cole, Brian Dietzen, Katrina Law, and Wilmer Valderrama filming NCIS
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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NCIS has delighted fans with an exciting announcement about an upcoming event in honor of the show's 20th anniversary. 

The drama's official Twitter, now X, account revealed that CBS is set to air an NCIS marathon on Monday to celebrate 20 years of the show. 

Alongside a video montage showing clips of scenes from over the years, the caption read: "We're celebrating 20 years of #NCIS! Don't miss the NCIS Day 20th anniversary marathon event Monday starting at 8/7c on CBS — and keep your [eyes emoji]  peeled for some exclusive content and special guests!"

WATCH: NCIS announces special event for 20th anniversary

Fans rushed to the comments section to express their excitement, with one person writing: "Yesssss I can't wait," while another added: "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

A third fan tweeted: "Never get tired of watching NCIS."

NCIS first premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS as a spin-off series to the legal drama, JAG, which ran for ten seasons from 1995 to 2005.

Mark Harmon smiling© Picture Perfect/Shutterstock
Mark Harmon starred on the show for 19 seasons

It's the third longest-running scripted, non-animated US primetime show, surpassed by NBC's Law & Order and its spin-off show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Mark Harmon played the leading role of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from seasons one to 19, co-starring alongside Michael Weatherly until his departure in 2015.

Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly in NCIS© CBS
Michael Weatherly starred on the show for 13 seasons

Cote de Pablo and Pauley Perrette also appeared on the show for numerous years before their respective departures. 

MORE: Where the stars who left NCIS are now: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and more

SEE: NCIS actors and their incredible homes revealed

Meanwhile, David McCallum, Sean Murray and Brian Dietzen are all still starring in the drama and are expected to appear in the upcoming 21st season, which has been delayed due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes

Why are the writers on strike?

Both SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are currently striking over ongoing labor disputes with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios including Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Disney, as well as television networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC. 

Brian Dietzen and Katrina Law on the picket lines© Katrina Law/Instagram
Brian Dietzen and Katrina Law on the picket lines

WGA members went on strike on 2 May. One of their reasons for striking is how writers are compensated in the streaming era. Some of their other demands include a pay increase, a stable pay structure and guarantees that artificial intelligence won't be used in scriptwriting.

SAG-AFTRA called a strike on July 14, marking the first time in over 60 years that Hollywood writers and actors are striking at the same time.

Why are actors going on strike?

SAG-AFTRA member voted to strike on July 13 2023. 

In 2022 it was reported that the average hourly pay for a California actor was $27.73 per hour. But many working actors do not work Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm jobs, and 86% of the 160,000 strong guild do not make more than $25,950 in covered earnings (money that contributes towards social security) per year, and therefore do not qualify for healthcare insurance.

Actors also receive financial compensations when their TV shows are syndicated, rerun, have a DVD release or enjoy a move to streaming services. The calculation is complex and can change depending on initial contract, length of time an actor has had guild membership, and the type of production. As an example the Friends cast – Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry – receive 2% of the syndication revenue for their hit WB show, meaning their annually bring in around $20million each. But as streaming services such as Netflix continue to refuse to share ratings, it makes it unclear how often content is played and it lowers an actor's residual calculation. 

The SAG and Writers Guild of America members are also both fighting AMPTP over protections for their work against Artificial Intelligence, and fears that technology would replace humans.

When will NCIS season 21 air on CBS?

While new seasons of NCIS usually premiere in the fall, fans will have to wait a little longer to see the new episodes. 

CBS has yet to reveal exactly when season 21 will arrive. However, with the scripts not yet written and actors unable to film, it's likely that fans be waiting until 2024.

The team of NCIS, including leads Brian Dietzen and Sean Murray, on the picket lines© Instagram
The team of NCIS, including leads Brian Dietzen and Sean Murray, showing their support for the strike

The cast of the drama have been very vocal in their support for the strike, with Brian Dietzen sharing a sweet tribute to the show on Instagram in July. 

"I love the people I work with. I'm proud to stand by them as we wait for a fair deal," he penned. "When we do reach an agreement, we'll be getting back to the stage to do what we do best."