The series was renewed for fourteenth and fifteenth seasons by CBS on Monday, February 29, 2016. Production on this season started in late July. On January 5, 2016, CBS announced Michael Weatherly’s departure from the series after thirteen seasons, which occurred in the Season 13 finale, “Family First”. After Weatherly’s exit, two new actors joined the cast as agents: Wilmer Valderrama, on June 16, 2016; and Jennifer Esposito, on July 11. In addition, July 11 also saw Duane Henry, who had appeared in the last two episodes of Season 13 as MI6 Officer Clayton Reeves, promoted to series regular. Sarah Clarke, who had appeared in the last 2 episodes of Season 13 as FBI Special Agent Tess Monroe, with a series regular option for Season 14, was not retained.
NCIS has long been one of the most popular series on television, yet it’s also one of the most underrated; it’s been so reliable for so many years that it’s easy to take it for granted. Yet if the new Season 14 DVD boxed set proves anything, it’s that NCIS has only gotten better with age. Rather than resting on their laurels, the cast, writers, and crew have taken full advantage of the opportunities a long running show provides – opportunities to dig deeper into the characters, finding new emotional shadings and making revelatory observations. Season 14 introduces three new agents (played by Jennifer Esposito, Duane Henry, and Wilmer Valderrama), all of whom are compelling and add rich texture to the series. Yet the most satisfying and profound pleasures of the season involve the stalwarts: Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), Donald Mallard (David McCallum), Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham), and, of course, team leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon).