Austin Stowell to Portray Young Version of Mark Harmon's Leroy Jethro Gibbs in New “NCIS” Spinoff

Harmon will also reprise his role as Gibbs by narrating the upcoming prequel series, 'NCIS: Origins', after leaving the franchise in 2021

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty, Steve Granitz/WireImage</p> Austin Stowell (left) and Mark Harmon

Jon Kopaloff/Getty, Steve Granitz/WireImage

Austin Stowell (left) and Mark Harmon

Austin Stowell has big shoes to fill as he takes on a new role in CBS' upcoming NCIS prequel series.

In a press release shared with PEOPLE, the network announced that the actor, 39, has been cast as a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs, initially portrayed by Mark Harmon, in the next installment of the crime-fighting franchise titled NCIS: Origins.

The series, which has been ordered for the 2024-2025 broadcast season, will begin in 1991 and tell the story of the years prior to NCIS. The story will follow Gibbs as he "starts his career as a newly minted special agent" on a "gritty, ragtag team led by NCIS legend Mike Franks."

<p>Dave Kotinsky/Peacock via Getty</p> Austin Stowell in New York City on Sept. 28, 2022

Dave Kotinsky/Peacock via Getty

Austin Stowell in New York City on Sept. 28, 2022

Related: Everything to Know About NCIS Season 21

While Stowell will be taking on the job of playing Gibbs on screen, Harmon will reprise his original role and narrate the series.

Harmon, 72, has starred on NCIS as Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the show's premiere in 2003. He left the series in 2021 after a 19-season run on the show.

While speaking to PEOPLE in November 2023, Harmon revealed that his desire to be more present at home was the biggest factor in taking on his longstanding role.

“It is interesting because initially the decision to do the show in the first place was because I was traveling a lot doing movies and other things and I was trying to stay home more with a young family," he recalled. "And then the first day on this show I worked 22 hours — and there were a lot of those days for a long time."

But his 19-season run ultimately amounted to a steadier fatherly presence, "I was able to make breakfast on the weekend. I'm not about to complain about any of it," he said.

Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Mark Harmon in 'NCIS'
Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Mark Harmon in 'NCIS'

Related: The Cast of NCIS: Where Are They Now?

Stowell, on the other hand, is known for his roles in A Friend of the Family and The Hating Game starring opposite of Lucy Hale. He also appeared in the limited series, Catch 22, starring alongside George Clooney, Chris Abbott and Hugh Laurie.

His other credits include Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories and Public Morals, as well as Battle of the Sexes beside Emma Stone, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, 12 Strong opposite Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon and Whiplash alongside JK Simmons.

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NCIS: Origins will be executive produced by Harmon, Sean Harmon, David J. North and Gina Lucita Monreal. North and Monreal will also co-write the premiere episode in addition to serving as co-showrunners.

A premiere date for NCIS: Origins has not yet been announced.

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