NCIS season 17: Maria Bello looking to direct episode

Maria BelloWhile there is no verification that an NCIS season 17 is happening on CBS, it looks as though some cast members are making plans!

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In a new post via Wilmer Valderrama’s Instagram Stories, Maria Bello confirmed that she is planning to direct an episode of the show next season. It makes sense for her to be circling this gig already, mostly because there’s so much preparation that goes into being a director of episodic television. You have to shadow directors, learn the tools of the trade, and make sure that you are ready to go for it long in advance. This would mark Bello’s scripted television debut as a director, and we definitely know that NCIS has a tendency to let cast members direct if that is something that they want. After all, we have seen Rocky Carroll take on this role on a number of occasions already.

As a whole, we do think that CBS is going to continue to offer up more directing opportunities to cast members, largely because that makes sense and you want to be able to ensure that you get as many different voices out there as possible. We just had AJ Cook make her directorial debut over on Criminal Minds, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there are some more actor-directors who crop up on some other shows down the line.

NCIS is going to return with some new episodes on Tuesday, February 12 — there’s no new episode next week, as there was originally scheduled to be. What’s the reason for that? It’s really so simple as the fact that the State of the Union is now happening.

Is this directing gig a hopeful sign for season 17?

In some ways, sure, but at the same exact time, CBS probably figured out they wanted a season 17 of the show a long time before now. The ratings are such that the network, of course, wants the show back — the only question is when they announce that and more than likely, they’ll do that by March or April. That tends to be the timeline for when most of the network’s shows are renewed.

Given that Bello specifically mentions “next year” in the video from Valderrama, our feeling is (at least for now) that she will helm an episode in the second half of next season. Time will tell.

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