'NCIS' scoop: McGee's grandma is....


Image Credit: Getty Images

Meeting the team’s family is always a gas on NCIS, and this latest bit of casting is no exception. We’re about to meet a very special member of  Special Agent Timothy McGee’s family in season nine of the CBS drama, which begins Sept. 20. And the newest member of the family tree is….

Lily Tomlin!

The veteran TV actor will follow in the footsteps of Ralph Waite (who played Gibbs’ dad) and Robert Wagner (DiNozzo’s pa!) to depict Penelope, McGee’s grandmother. She’ll show up in the early fall. “We are very excited to have the gifted Lily Tomlin join us to play McGee’s grandmother,” says NCIS exec producer Gary Glasberg. “We know she’ll bring extraordinary heart and pathos and humor to the show and the cast and crew are thrilled to have her.  But don’t let the word grandmother fool you.  Penelope is sharp as a tack and we’re about to learn some things about McGee’s family that have never been revealed.”

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  • Karin

    hope they also bring back mcgee’s sister, we haven’t seen her in forever

    • NoChance

      Troian is busy these days on “Pretty Little Liars” so unlikely that she’ll be able to make a return as Sarah McGee.

      Lily as Grandma ?? – McGee or mom’s mom? – should be great. She’s great at both comedy and drama, just like the rest of the “NCIS” cast.

  • jan


  • Uhhh…

    Too many relatives. What next, Palmer’s aunt?

    • Law

      this makes, what? four relatives, in nine years? hardly too much.

      • Uhhh…

        They never should’ve introduced Ziva’s dad or Tony’s.

      • DiNoezzo

        really? Ziva’s dad? that was is what season 4-7

  • Dean

    Good grief. CBS is really going for that 70+ demo. First Tony Bennett on Blue Bloods, Ted Danson on CSI, now this. C’mon. Love Lily Tomlin, but if you’re going to stunt cast, do it with someone born after the Civil Rights Act.

  • Jo

    Yay for casting news but I’m a bit disappointed it’s another member of McGee’s family – I’m still holding out hope season nine will be the year we meet someone from Abby’s background, as all of the other character’s have had family members on the show and it’s gotta be her turn soon!

    • Tania

      me too I wanted to see Abby’s family we never got to see her family yet.

    • Jill

      We did meet Abby’s best friend in the Christmas episode a couple of years ago. Her parents are both dead.

      I’d like to meet Abby’s bowling nun friends myself.

    • Jai

      I remember Abby mentioning she had a little brother in one episode, it would be great if we could see him

  • Leah

    had anyone noticed how thin mcgee looked… does he have thyroid problems, cancer..?

    • Shirley

      He lost weight to get healthy. He’s not sick or anything.

    • NoChance

      Enough already!!! He cut out sugar and alcohol and started eating mostly organic foods. Sean got hit with so many of these comments that he actually addressed it on his Twitter page. HE. IS. HEALTHY!!!

    • carole

      I think it’s from dieting. Looks like he didn’t know when to stop. He does look sick.

  • Ferniesfreckles

    We totally need to meet Sister Rosita :)

    • Tori

      I agree!

  • bigbadbud

    Great casting. will look forward to seeing McGee’s oma. As for Abby’s family…come on, leave the vampires and witches to another network.

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      I don’t think Abby’s relatives are goths, in fact I know she has deaf members in her family so it might be interesting to see them interact.

  • Mia

    This inflation (or invasion?) of NCIS relatives is a pretty good sign, in my humble opinion, that the show is slowly, but surely running out of story ideas – a trend that has been noticable for the past two seasons.

    While I love the fact that it looks like McGee finally gets something to do (SO SO tired of the “Gibbs & DiNozzo show”!), I am not sure how many relatives on this show I can handle.

    After the season 8 finale (another mediocre one after season 7’s meh ending) I am currently 50:50 about whether or not I should continue watching the show – and I know a lot of people feel the same way.

    NCIS has lost its spark, is recycling storylines now and there honestly isn’t anything about the characters that I am just dying to see or find out anymore.

    Not a good sign – and maybe my signal to kiss this old TV friend goodbye once and for all.

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      I already made this decision last year when I saw the same storylines reused over and over and over again. I knew immediately that Ziva’s BF was going to be working as a spy (I was also annoyed that he didn’t have a name for 6 months! WTF!). And we got the whole cycle of Tony and Ziva circling each other along with Tony being jealous of a character we never see…yeah because that worked out so well with Michael in season 6. In season 4 at least we actually got to SEE Jeanne once in a while!

      But then there is the blatant reuse of plotlines. Like in Obsessed where Tony was going after the reporter. 5 minutes into the episode I said she would be dying and what do you know? She is dying from poison. Not bad except THEY DID THAT IN SEASON 4!!!! Ziva fell in love with the guy dying from radiation poisoning.

      Finally after the disappointing 2 parter where Ziva forgave her father for leaving her to die in Somalia for no reason really I just switched the channel. I ended up watching the season finale and was not impressed, partly because I could pick up where I left off after not watching for 6 months but also because it was so deadly dull. The ending was blah, Tony is on a secret mission (AGAIN!) and we all know that who is after is Ziva’s boyfriend! Hey that sounds like season 6 all over again!

      NCIS needs new ideas, badly.

      • NoChance

        Can’t be after Ray – he’s not an NCIS agent and the SecNav specifically said that the secrets seller is an “agent somewhere within your – Vance’s – organization”.

        Dang! Did it again. Conversation is suppose to be about Lily Tomlin being cast as McGee’s Grandma.

        So, back on topic. Great casting choice.

      • Sora

        What Tony-Gibbs show are you watching? All ?ve seen is Gibbs show.

      • Susan Christensen

        I don’t care if they use old stories , they reinvent them so NCIS is just great in my eyes. I love the show.

    • Uhhh…

      It should be the Tony and Gibbs show and I wish it would focus more on them and less on Ziva’s stupidity.

      • NoChance

        And a big AMEN to that, Uhhh. Gibbs and Tony along with Abby and Ducky are why I got hooked on the show and why I continue to watch.
        I hope that Ziva is the one selling secrets and her citizenship is revoked and she’s deported and it’s proved that she did kill Ari while following orders so she could spy on Gibbs and his people and have access to secret places like MTAC.

        Bring on a 3-man team: Gibbs, DiNozzo and McGee and if they need a woman for some cases bring in Jardin – let her brother be better so she isn’t concerned about germs anymore.

      • rainey13

        YUCK! Tony’s character has been a bore and annoying as hell since Season 1. At some point he really needs to GROW UP! I’ve been hoping his character would leave for a long time. Ziva can keep Gibbs and McGee (mostly) in line.

      • carole

        I would love to see more of Gibbs and Tony. Ziva is a bore. More Abby, Ducky and Jimmy. I’m hoping Tony is looking into Ziva spying. Please let it be Ziva and she has to leave the show. I get my hopes up each year and she always comes back. As bad as Rachel on BB.

    • Sam

      @Mia You’re tired of the Gibbs & DiNozzo show? Are you watching Baltimore stuck on loop or something? lol They’ve barely shared the screen together over the last 2 years. Now if you’d said that you were sick of the Tony/Ziva show…

    • Alexm

      Mia, if only it WAS the Gibbs/DiNozzo show – I’d like it a lot better. I’d certainly like it better than the awful Ziva/Tiva show we’ve been subjected to for the past 2 seasons. I thought the last half of season 8 showed a big improvement in terms of teamwork and less all consuming Ziva focus so I hope they continue with that. And if it DID become the Gibbs and DiNozzo show, I, for one, would be delighted, as those two are by far the best actors on the show and Baltimore was by far the best episode in S8.

  • Bella

    Lily Tomlin is a great choice to play McGee’s grandmother. I can hardly wait to see them together. We’ve seen Ziva’s father, Tony’s father, Gibbs’ father, Ducky’s mother, McGee’s sister and soon his grandmother. I’ve been waiting to see somebody from Abby’s family. They probably can’t figure out whether her family will be quirky like she is, or more mainstream. They may have recycled some plotlines here and there, but it’s still a great show and it’s must-see t.v. for our family.

  • NCIS-Spidey

    If you’ve already given up on the show and don’t plan on watching it then why waste your time commenting on it? That never made much sense to me! I, for one still LOVE the show and can’t wait for the new season to start!

    • Cheyenne

      I so agree. It annoys me when people comment just to say that they hate either a certain character, or the show in general. Especially when it has nothing to do with what the article is about… I, for one, am happy to see someone from McGee’s family. Although we saw his sister a few years ago, we’ve never really gotten any family background- except for tiny little things here and there, but nothing for the past few years. I am happy to know that McGee will have a storyline which will not involve a woman pretending to like him just to use him. So happy for this episode!

      • Jeannie

        I agree Cheyenne, if your not watching then keep your opinons to yourself. I love the show reuses and all, they give a different characters view or reaction. Lily Tomlin I love her. I think she will be perfect as McGee’s grandmother.

    • Mia

      Reading comprehension is clearly an advantage while judging comments on EW. I said I was CONTEMPLATING and currently at 50:50 as to whether or not I would continue to watch or not (and I have been watching the show since day ONE – how many of you finger pointers can say the same thing?). I never said I was no longer watching. And even if that was the case I could still come here and post my opinion on a show that used to be my favourite and give the reasons why it has stopped to intrigue me without people pointing their fingers and sticking their noses in the air. You are entitled to your opinion and I won’t critizise it. I expect the same treatment and respect in return without the opinionated, judgemental attitude that some of you are showing here.

      And back to the show: My issue is with the writing and the course of the show – not with the actors or the characters, which I ALL love and who all contribute to the show in my opinion. But it is painfully obvious that the show and some of its characters have been written into a corner and that it lacks the team spark it used to have in its better seasons. For me the show has peaked a few seasons ago as far as the quality of the scripts and the character development is concerned. Sad, but true. I also won’t be surprised if as of this season the ratings will be significantly lower.

  • Christine

    Still love NCIS. I agree some plots have been reused but all in all it is still a great show and I happen to love it when they bring in the personal lives and family members of our team. Loved Ralph Waite as Jackson Gibbs, and who better to play Tony’s father than R.Wagner. Loved the stories. I think S8 had some slow themes than the season finale was a little on the “yawn” side, but all in all Love NCIS and for us it is still Must see.

    • LOL

      Love all t he cast and all the family members.Love zive–she is beautiful and want more love interest between her and tony. also McGee and Abby.

      • carole

        NO. NO. Get them outside love interests if there is going to be love.

  • Michael

    As for these season Finale its way better then any other season finale we got last may

  • Alexm

    I can’t say I’m wildly interested in meeting yet ANOTHER relative. And really if we must meet another relative I’d far rather meet Abby’s mom, Gloria. We’ve already had a major storyline about McGee’s sister but nothing for Abby’s relatives so far.

    I don’t have a huge amount of interest in McGee so I’m a bit meh about this. I love Lily Tomlin but I can imagine exactly the kind of character they’ve brought her into play and it doesn’t interest me hugely.

  • Jeannie

    I personally love NCIS again. I was a huge JAG fan, but I did not start watching NCIS until I saw repeat introducing McGee saw yes I am a McGee I think as a “Navy Brat” remebering his father was in the Navy on the show it would be interesting to hear some family background. Tony, Ziva and yes even Abby has talked about the families, but McGee has only given drabbles of information regarding his family life. I cannot wait. Do like than don’t watch.

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