NCIS’ Sean Murray welcomed to main cast as episode was ‘3 minutes short’

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NCIS’ lovable Agent Timothy McGee wasn’t always intended to join the main team of agents and it was down the length of one episode that he became a series regular.

NCIS season 19 is done and dusted with and series 20 will be premiering in a matter of months. Agent Timothy McGee (played by Sean Murray) is going to return to the CBS police procedural with the rest of the agents, tasked with solving difficult investigations while juggling their personal lives. While fans couldn’t imagine NCIS without McGee, the actor was initially introduced as just a guest star.

Prior to Murray’s time in NCIS, he was arguably best known for featuring in the iconic 1993 Hocus Pocus film as Thackery Binx.

He made his first appearance in NCIS in season one, episode seven, Sub Rosa in 2003.

McGee was brought in as an extra character for the other agents to joke around with for just one episode.

It wasn’t until an episode’s running time needed to be extended that the actor was brought back on set.

Speaking to the Culture Pop Podcast, Murray opened up on the circumstances surrounding him joining the NCIS main cast.

“It was a one time gig, one episode thing there but at the end, my character was a good guy, wasn’t a bad guy, wasn’t incarcerated, wasn’t dead so that’s a good start to begin with,” he commented.

“They also kind of insinuated that he was going to date the Abby [Sciuto] character or had gone on a date with the Abby character.

“The character McGee wasn’t in that show, not in the next script but they had finished filming that episode and ended up coming in three minutes short.”

Murray continued to explain the creators decided to bring back McGee to fill in this time and build up a small story with him and Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly).

He continued: “So I came back, we did that, it felt good, then from that point on we started having just small McGee appearances through the first season there.

“They were popping up, one by one, each episode, they were progressively getting bigger and there was a feeling of like something there that was really kind of cool.

“I felt it, they [the writers] felt it, it was like there was a slice of the pizza that was missing.

“It was a character that was able to do a lot of things, and not do a lot of things, that the other characters couldn’t – it was a whole different dynamic, he brought something fun.”

Season 19 was a particularly special season for Murray as he got to act alongside his daughter Cay Ryan Murray for the first time.

She appeared in the episode The Brat Pack, where Cay played teenager Teagan who Murray bonded with.

Since Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) left earlier in the series, Murray is now the longest-running full-time character in the drama.

Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum) has technically been in NCIS from the beginning but in recent years has taken a backseat role in the show.

NCIS was renewed for its 20th season earlier this year by CBS.

The network has since announced its start date as well which will be Monday, September 19.

NCIS Hawaii is also going to premiere its second series on this date, shortly after NCIS airs.

NCIS is available to watch on CBS in America and Disney+ in the UK.

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