'NCIS' season 14 spoilers, news: Wilmer Valderrama on the pressure of joining popular series


There will be a couple of changes when “NCIS” returns to the small screen for its 14th season. While the absence of Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo will be very much felt, a slew of new and good improvements are headed to loyal fans ranging from additional squad members to a fresh dynamic within the group.

Despite joining the elite navy squad after over a decade on air, Wilmer Valderrama is confident of what he will be bringing to the table. But stepping into the world of TV’s most-watched series also comes with pressure and expectations.

“In the beginning I had my doubts,” he admitted in an interview with The Wrap. “It’s such a long-running show, they were kind of set in their ways, and I felt like, ‘What would my role be, metaphorically and literally?’ But I had a meeting with them, and I really liked that they were willing to take the show to different places.”

By no means is the addition of the actor an effort to replace Weatherly as the two may have similarities but they cannot be more different. Instead, he will be a character of his own with an interesting history that will put him at odds with Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

“He’s been kind of a lone wolf for a long time,” Valderrama explained of his character named Nick Torres who previously went missing after a covert mission. “He feels funny about wearing a jacket that says, ‘This is who I am.’ He suffers from a little bit of post-traumatic stress and is having a rough time of it.”

Nevertheless, given that Gibbs has an eye for people who have the potential to work well with his team, the former Marine gunnery sergeant will take on the newbie. Valderrama is joined by Duane Henry as Clayton Reeves and Jennifer Esposito as Alex Quinn as series regulars moving forward.

Aside from the new members, there will presumably be some tweaks in regard to the system that “NCIS” has built in its past 13 seasons. For starters, the usually in-house Abby, played by Pauley Perrette, will join the team more in the field.

“NCIS” season 14 will waste no time in melding the squad and Torres. The premiere episode suggests that the team is set to investigate a car explosion in D.C. that will eventually lead them to the missing agent. The installment titled “Rogue” will kick off the season on Sept. 20 on CBS.