'NCIS' exclusive: Gena Rowlands unlocks Gibbs' past

Gena Rowlands is headed to NCIS, and she’s bringing a world of pain with her.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the three-time Emmy winner has been cast in the potentially recurring role of Joann, Gibbs’ intelligent, upscale mother-in-law.

As exec producer Shane Brennan recently told me, the character’s arrival will shed light on Gibbs’ past, unleashing a wave of heartache, anger and blame in the process. You know, standard mother-in-law stuff.

Rowlands makes her NCIS debut in March.

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS; Rowlands: John Spellman/Retna L

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  • Cara

    Wow, that should be amazing to watch. She’s a real firecracker. Sweet!

  • Karalynn

    I’m guessing that means she’s Shannon’s mother…This should be really good!

    • Ashtrash

      Well…technically, he’s had 4 mothers-in-law, right? But yeah, Shannon is the only wife we care about…

      • Rianne

        It’s the mother of one of his EX-wives, so not about Shannon.

      • mcat

        Rianne, “ex-wife” was a term used by Ausiello, not Shane Brennan. Since Ausiello doesn’t actually watch NCIS, it’s very possible that he simply used the wrong term. Personally, I hope it is Shannon’s mother.

  • Sally

    Can’t wait! I love any back story related to Gibbs.

  • Fatima

    Sooooo exited!

  • lars

    soinds like alot of fun! looking forward to it!

  • Rose

    I’m already scared. Gena Rowlands is a powerhouse. Wow.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    And this is why NCIS is the number 1 show

  • Nicotine

    I love when they unlock little pieces of Gibbs’ past. And this is a casting masterpiece. Should be fun to watch.

  • ana

    hhhhmmm….interesting. Fingers crossed that they do it *right* & not just try for another shock & awe moment(s)

    • carolae

      A BIG AMEN to that! It’s all about how the storyline is presented and whether it contains the run-of-the-mill ‘mother-in-law’ interferences, etc. If done right as you noted, it will be a block buster. This show exceeds the No. 1 spot due mostly to good writers and an outstanding cast.

  • pai

    What a coup!

  • Freelancer

    Should be great ! And very interesting. Whoever mother’s she is (Shannon, unknown ex-1, Diane or Stephanie), I have the feeling Gibbs won’t be happy ^^

  • Jeo

    I do hope they get this plotline right as it kind of makes me wince. I hope this is Shannon’s mother in law and not one of the other ex wives as to be honest I don’t care about them. On the other hand, I’m not sure there’s anything more I really want to know about Gibbs and Shannon in case they ruin what’s been so lovely about that relationship to date. They did a terrrible job with the Macy plotline in the LA eps, virtually rewriting (and in the process ruining) Gibbs’s continuity and back story. I don’t want them to get another thing wrong. Also, if she’s another of these adversarial women I’ll just roll my eyes. Can’t these men have any nice women in their lives? Abby and Shannon are about the only nice, kind, genuinely warm and loving women we’ve ever seen on NCIS, and Shannon is barely more than a flashback.

    • Kb

      Agree totally with Jeo’s comment. Also lets try to keep Gibbs in character.

  • bethanymae

    I’m thrilled to see now only such a fabulous, classy actress on the show, but to learn more about Gibbs’ past. It’s an intruiging plotline. Can’t wait.

  • Lindi

    Gena Rowland is so great. I had my problems with season 7, but that’s an ep I cant’t wait to see. Intelligent, upscale- doesn’t really sound like Shannons mother to be, since Shannon was this nice girl from Stillwater.
    I bet she hates Gibbs.

  • Catsetc

    My guess is she is Shannon’s mom and the “blame” that’s mentioned is her blaming Gibbs for Shannon and Kelly’s deaths.

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