season 20 could bring back several, if not many former cast members, but the plan for their comeback would only be a waste for Tony DiNozzo and Leroy Gibbs. CBS' longest-running police procedural is celebrating a big year as it officially marks its two decades on the air. This officially makes it one of the longest-running scripted American primetime television series, only behind NBC's and . In celebration of that, there's an expectation that some of the show's former cast members will appear for a special reunion.
Considering how long it has been on the air, has seen its fair share of actor exits. In the last decade, it lost several original characters. Michael is arguably one of the most impactful ones; the same goes when Mark Harmon left the show in season 19. Given these, DiNozzo and Gibbs' potential return is one of, if not the most anticipated, comebacks on the show ever. However, while their cameos are still possible, a recent update of how CBS may tackle returning characters is disappointing.
Currently, season 20 is at the tail end of its run. It has already released 15 episodes, with a finale supposedly scheduled sometime in May. The police procedural has just released its 450th episode, "Unusual Suspects," which didn't feature any returning characters. Despite this, long-time cast member Brian Dietzen offers an, saying that while Gibbs, DiNozzo, and others may appear in season 20, CBS may not bring them all back at the same time. While this makes sense considering the number of characters that can revisit the show, it would be a waste for Gibbs and DiNozzo, particularly.
Seeing Gibbs and DiNozzo, regardless of the circumstances, will already be a special treat for long-time viewers of . That being said, it doesn't make sense that CBS will pass on the opportunity to stage a long-awaited reunion. Despite only leaving in season 19, Harmon hasn't shared the screen with Weatherly for almost a decade now. While the show has always been an ensemble, the pair's mentor/mentee dynamic, especially in its first 10 years, was its biggest appeal. It would be great to see how their relationship evolved since they stopped working together.
Although , he remains an executive producer on the show. Weatherly, on the other hand, is uninvolved in the series. Despite this, both actors expressed interest in revisiting the police procedural. Harmon intended to leave the show in season 18 but decided on a limited appearance the following year to allow CBS to lay out a good send-off for his character. Meanwhile, Weatherly's decision to exit boiled down to him scoring a leading role in the hit legal drama Bull, which ran for six seasons and just ended in 2022.