Wilmer Valderrama Admits NCIS Was Nodding At Yellowstone In Recent Episode, And I'm Going To Need A Crossover Stat (2024)

The worlds of NCIS and Yellowstone couldn’t be more disparate on the surface, with special-agent government ops standing far apart from cowboy life in Montana. And yet those worlds managed to collide in part during the ninth episode of the CBS drama’s 21st season, with Wilmer Valderrama and Katrina Law’s Torres and Knight taking a Texas-set mission with scenes that wouldn’t have looked entirely out of place in Taylor Sheridan’s ranch-filled TV universe. Now that Valderrama confirmed the Yellowstone homage was intentional, an official crossover kinda needs to happen, yeah?

Though “Prime Cut” didn’t actually take place on the 6666 ranch that Sheridan now owns (and is meant to be the titular setting for one of several upcoming Yellowstone shows), the change in setting for the agents can be attributed to a fan of the Paramount Network western behind the scenes at NCIS. Speaking with TV Insider, Valderrama was asked if he picked up on the installment’s Yellowstone vibes, and had quite the interesting response:

Yeah, I think so. I always say this: NCIS does this incredibly well. They know how to pay tribute to the network, they know how to pay tribute to all family members within the network, and we have a really good time doing that. And I think one of the writers is a huge Yellowstone fan, because that’s a very obvious influence on the show.

The actor is of course referring to the fact that Paramount is the parent company of both hit series’ networks, which means creative decisions like this are all in good-natured synergy, especially since the cable drama made its broadcast debut on CBS during the 2023 strikes. So nobody would need to bend over backwards while breaking the bank (and other B-fronted words) to have the outer edges of the Dutton family saga brush up against an overarching case that only NCIS’ most elite agents can handle.

I don’t necessarily foresee that happening, but Wilmer Valderrama implies at this point in the drama’s dominant run, the Big Sky’s the limit. He continued:

But you know, when you are going to Season 21 and you’re swinging for the fences, and you have this much runway to do it, you have the luxury of just saying, ‘Why not? Let’s do that.’ But it still stays within the original guidelines of what the show is. We never try to go too much outside the line, but we’ve never seen these characters in a ranch like that, so that was a cool setting to base a conspiracy around. And I think it’s proven to be very fruitful. We had a lot of fun, and I think that show played really well.

If NCIS suddenly started populating episodes with characters familiar from Yellowstone, I get that fans would start to question things. But here’s the trick: set it up by bringing Josh Lucas’ John Dutton into the mix on NCIS: Origins, which has been making headlines recently with Gibbs’ dad and more being cast alongside other viewer-familiar characters. If the show can set up a relationship between the Duttons and Gibbs all those years ago, then it would be perfectly logical for Kayce to one day show up knocking on Parker’s office door. Okay maybe not perfectly logical…

Yellowstone’s final Season 5 episodes are set to air in November, with filming taking place across the spring and summer, possibly with Kevin Costner’s involvement. But before that happens, NCIS will continue Season 21, with episodes airing Monday nights on CBS at 9:00 p.m. ET., and streaming the next day with a Paramount+ subscription.

Wilmer Valderrama Admits NCIS Was Nodding At Yellowstone In Recent Episode, And I'm Going To Need A Crossover Stat (1)

Nick Venable

Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.

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Wilmer Valderrama Admits NCIS Was Nodding At Yellowstone In Recent Episode, And I'm Going To Need A Crossover Stat (2024)


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