NCIS casts female lead in new spin-off show

mariel morino in a black dress with a necklace, at a red carpet event
NCIS casts female lead in new spin-off showVivien Killilea - Getty Images

NCIS: Origins has cast its female lead character, who will front the prequel show alongside young Gibbs.

The series will follow Leroy Jethro Gibbs from 1991, shortly after his first wife and child were murdered. He joins the NCIS Camp Pendleton office, and starts his career under the guidance of NCIS veteran Mike Franks.

Deadline reports that Mariel Molino has been cast as Special Agent Lala Dominguez, a new character previously unintroduced to the franchise. She's described as a former Marine who uses a dark sense of humour to navigate the male-dominated world of the time.

mariel morino in a black dress with a necklace, at a red carpet event
Vivien Killilea - Getty Images

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It is said that she and young Gibbs will have a storyline that is "filled with sparks" and set to feature plenty of mystery, twists and turns.

Austin Stowell was previously announced to be playing young Gibbs, while Mark Harmon will return to provide the narration and serve as an executive producer alongside his son Sean. They've also co-written the first episode.

"The character of Gibbs has been an important part of my life for 20 years, both in watching my father craft the role and previously having the honour to play young Gibbs myself," Sean said.

mark harmon as leroy jethro gibbs in ncis
Bill Inoshita - CBS

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"I always felt there was a tale worth telling about his earlier years, so I am thrilled to be stepping into a producing role alongside Gina, David and my dad as we tell this story and reveal a new side of this beloved character."

It's not the only new NCIS prequel series joining the ever-expanding TV universe, as a show set in Europe following on-screen couple Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo as they go on the run is also in the works.

NCIS: Origins is expected to premiere later this year. NCIS airs on CBS in the US. Seasons 1-20 are streaming on Disney+ in the UK.

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