NCIS is moving in a new direction now that Abby (Pauley Perrette) and Clayton (Duane Henry) are gone. The show is currently in its 16th season, and showrunners Steven Binder and Frank Cardea opened up about how the show is moving on without two pivotal characters.
“We’re going back to that core group of four people,” Cardea shared.
The four core characters include Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Bishop (Emily Wickersham), Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), and McGee (Sean Murray), all of whom will be focal points this season. Characters like Abby’s replacement, Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover), will have important storylines, but the main drama will revolve around the core agents.
You won't believe all the twists and turns in the Season 16 premiere of #NCIS – not until you see it, that is. In case you missed it, stream the full episode here: https://t.co/41x0cDt8Yo pic.twitter.com/z3AvhAJeU8
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) September 29, 2018
This answers how the show will move forward this season, but it does not address how the characters will react to Abby and Clayton’s departure.
Abby’s exit was a little easier to deal with since she was not killed off. Clayton, on the other hand, died protecting Abby, and it is unclear how the team will respond to his death. According to Cinema Blend, Cardea revealed that Clayton’s death will be addressed in the first half of Season 16, so it will not be long before we find out how the team adjusts to his absence.
If you are worried that Clayton’s death will turn the season dark, Bind assured everyone that the show will inject enough humor to lighten things up.
— People (@people) September 25, 2018
Binder and Cardea did not reveal too many secrets about the storyline this season. But there are clearly challenges ahead as the characters adjust to life without two of the show’s most important characters.
Aside from that, the creators teased that a romance is on the way this season and that a few team members will find themselves in jail at some point.
New episodes of NCIS air Tuesday nights on CBS.