When you are a show entering your 14th season on the air, the vast majority of time you’re set in stone and you’ve got a pattern. This is not really having for “NCIS.” The long-running crime procedural is coming back without Michael Weatherly for season 14, and that’s no easy task when you have those sort of shoes to fill.
Ultimately, you can’t really replace Tony; you just have to find a new identity and work with it. We’re creating this particular wishlist article with this particular thought in mind.
1. Bring the new characters about slowly – One of the things that the show got in trouble with when it comes to Bishop is that they probably pushed her too hard in the early going before finding a groove. They shouldn’t feel the same pressure to introduce Tess Monroe and Clayton Reeves. We already know them, so just make them an organic part of the ensemble if they stick around.
2. Put McGee in the spotlight more – Tim and Abby are probably the two remaining characters with the ability to play both humor in drama in the way that Tony could. Abby will have her own standout stories in the lab, but we expect McGee to have more of a leadership role. We also wouldn’t mind seeing more of him outside of the lab, as well.
3. Introduce new mythology – Create a new villain or organization to span a few episodes this coming season. Don’t rely so much on the past, and consider this a real reset for the show.
4. Let Gibbs step back – With Reeves now potentially a main character, you’ve got someone who can handle the more physical aspects of the job. The longer you put a guy like Gibbs in the line of fire at this point, the more unrealistic it starts to feel.
5. Still reference Tony – He’s not dead. He’s just going off to raise his daughter and change his life. We have to think that he’ll still talk to some of his friends at NCIS, so don’t be afraid to reference that here and there.
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