With the departure of Michael Weatherly, NCIS fans were left wondering who would be sitting at DiNozzo’s desk as the newest recipient of Jethro Gibbs’ infamous head-slaps. CBS had previously cast Sarah Clark as Agent Tess Monroe, but after several appearances during season 13, it was announced that she wouldn’t be returning. 

New blood from 'Blue Bloods'

Enter Jennifer Esposito, a previous regular on one of CBS’ other cop shows, Blue Bloods.

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Since Esposito’s exit from that show in 2012 wasn’t on the best of terms, it came as somewhat of a surprise to hear that she’d been selected by CBS to be recruited by Gibbs to join his team on NCIS during season 14. A previous female addition to the team – Emily Wickersham, who plays Eleanor Bishop – was met with mixed feelings, with many viewers clearly not happy with her acting ability, with others really liking Agent Ellie Bishop. 

Since Jennifer Esposito already had an established role as a detective on Blue Bloods, viewers shouldn’t have any problem making the transference to her new role in law enforcement as a veteran NCIS agent.

Who will fill Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo's shoes? Photo via Wikimedia
Who will fill Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo's shoes? Photo via Wikimedia

It seems like a wise decision for CBS to cast a seasoned actor in a similar role, but to account for her age and experience,  Esposito’s yet unnamed character will be coming in from another department within the agency, rather than walk in as a wet-behind-the-ears probie. 

Does in with the new mean out with the old?

More new blood is being added with season 14’s addition of Wilmer Valderrama as another yet-unnamed agent who disappeared after an undercover assignment several years prior.

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CBS described Valderrama’s character as "a once grounded NCIS field agent … his dedication to job and country has left him an unpredictable, charismatic loose cannon.”  Does that sound like someone else we know? Could CBS have their eye on Valderrama to groom as a replacement should (gasp) Leroy Jethro Gibbs ever retire for good? 

Two new characters being introduced in season 14 but neither of them being a probie begs the question - where does that leave McGee?

Will Sean Murray’s character ever move up the ladder, or will he forever be in Tony’s shadow, even in his absence? Hopefully season 14 will reveal some of these answers.

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