Gibbs and Vance are competing for the same NCIS record, and the prequel series might help the NCIS franchise continue to expand. Following the surprising cancellation of NCIS: Hawaii, two more shows are set to enter the fold. One of them, NCIS: Origins, will be a prequel to the original series and will follow a young L. Jethro Gibbs, played by Austin Stow, at Camp Pendleton during his early days. With this new series, Gibbs is on track to break a franchise record, one that NCIS Director Leon Vance is also in contention for. Both characters are competing to hold the record for appearing in the most shows in the long-running franchise.

Originated by Mark Harmon, Gibbs was the face of the franchise for almost 20 years and will take center stage once again in NCIS: Origins. Aside from the parent series and the prequel, Gibbs has also appeared on the New Orleans spin-off and JAG, which the parent show itself is a spin-off of. Surprisingly, he never appeared on the Los Angeles offshoot. As for Rocky Carroll’s Leon Vance, he made his debut in the fifth season of the original show but has since become a crucial part of the franchise. Interestingly, Carroll initially thought he’d only get two seasons.

Since Vance is the NCIS Director, it makes sense for him to check in on other field offices occasionally. Along with the original show, Vance has also appeared on Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Hawaii. Following his mention on NCIS: Sydney, it wouldn’t be surprising if he appeared on the Australian-set spin-off as well. That being said, Sydney isn’t the only way for Vance to hold the record. With Origins bringing back some familiar agents, it’s possible that young Gibbs could encounter a younger Vance, even for a brief appearance. Vance might also check in on former agents Tony and Ziva in their upcoming spin-off.

All in all, the NCIS franchise has been around for over 20 years now and shows no signs of losing momentum. One of the best parts of the franchise is seeing characters from different shows crossing over in various ways. When it comes to Gibbs and Vance, fans are hopeful to see them on their screens for years to come, whether they’re played by Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll or not. Time will tell who ultimately holds the record for series appearances, but it’s intriguing to see how it will shake out. In the meantime, those eager to see what NCIS: Origins has to offer should know that it will be part of the 2024 TV schedule, debuting on CBS this fall. In the meantime, you can stream episodes of the parent show using a Paramount Plus subscription.

By chrysos