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NCIS Prequel Series Officially Casts Young Version Of Mark Harmon's Gibbs

"NCIS" fans were upset that Mark Harmon's Gibbs didn't return for the Ducky (David McCallum) tribute episode. However, it seems longtime fans will not have to wait that much longer for a Gibbs comeback. In January, it was reported a Young Gibbs prequel series, titled "NCIS: Origins," was in the works that would see Harmon return to provide voiceover for the new procedural series. That still meant an actor was needed to portray a younger version of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Now, the show has found its match, with Deadline reporting that Austin Stowell is taking on the role.

Stowell takes the reins from Mark Harmon as well as his son, Sean Harmon, who portrayed Gibbs in a few flashback sequences on "NCIS." Stowell has an expansive filmography, having previously appeared in movies like "Whiplash" and "Bridge of Spies." He's also no stranger to the "NCIS" universe, as he had a role on an episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles" for Season 2's "Special Delivery." "NCIS: Origins" has already obtained a straight-to-series order, and fans can see where it all began when the show debuts later in the year.

NCIS: Origins will see Austin Stowell plays Gibbs at the start of his career

As a prequel series, "NCIS: Origins" will highlight how Gibbs came to be as audiences know him on the mainline series. It's set to take place in 1991 where he is just finding his place in his career, as he joins a team led by Mike Franks, who was played by Muse Watson on "NCIS." Franks has yet to be cast in the prequel, but with Gibbs now secure, the rest of the cast is bound to fall into place shortly. 

Franks won't be the only "NCIS" character getting the prequel treatment on the new show. It was previously reported that Special Agent Vera Strickland, portrayed previously by Roma Maffia, will also have a role on "NCIS: Origins." She and Franks used to be partners, so that dynamic getting explored will certainly be exciting for longtime fans. There are a number of other storylines "NCIS: Origins" could tap into, particularly when it comes to one of the most pivotal moments of Gibbs' life, namely when his wife and daughter are murdered. That took place in 1991, which is when the Young Gibbs show is set, so things could get extremely dark very quickly.

Mark Harmon's Gibbs appeared in hundreds of "NCIS" episodes, so Austin Stowell has some mighty big shoes to fill. However, among all of the "NCIS" spinoffs to materialize, "NCIS: Origins" could prove to be the most vital for understanding such a legendary TV character.