Lily Tomlin Previews NCIS Role

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NCIS will welcome Lily Tomlin this upcoming season as McGee’s grandmother.

Not surprisingly, it turns out that Penelope McGee is also a major science nerd.

“She’s a scientist, and she’s very sharp,” Tomlin told TV Line of her character.

“She was an admiral’s wife for many decades, and she’s the mother of McGee’s father ... It was a really good part, and I was really delighted to get it.”

Tomlin, L

“They’re a big military family, and they’re very science-minded, so they’re not overly emotional,” Tomlin adds. “But we have this opportunity [to change that].”

Tomlin also says Sean Murray's (“so darling, he kills me!) Tim McGee will experience a “kind of a breakthrough after [Penelope] makes a connection with him.”

NCIS show-runner Gary Glasberg says Tomlin's casting is central to “really fun, big, McGee-centric episode” about family, but with a procedural aspect as well.

“We’re really happy with her,” he said, adding that perhaps this will be more than a one-shot deal for Tomlin. “I hope that maybe we can get her to come back.”

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.

Palmer: I take it you heard?
Gibbs: Mmm hmm.
Palmer: Yeah, she saw the baby and just....I guess she felt the same way we felt when we first saw him. Can't fault her for that, right?
Gibbs: You should go home.
Palmer: I will. Yeah Breena and I, we just wanted to get all this stuff out of the house. You know, we wanted to give it back as soon as possible.
Gibbs: We.
Palmer: Me. She's hurting too, but she is so much stronger. She's ready to try again. And me - I feel like I can't breathe. I never felt this bad in my life, Gibbs.
Gibbs: Well, just wait until it's 3:00 in the morning, and your kid's running 104. You're just getting started.
Palmer: That's the point. I'm not starting, you know? Maybe I never will.
Gibbs: Well then fight for it, Palmer! That's what you do. You fight for your family. And sometimes, you fight like hell just to have one.
Palmer: You want me to fight, I feel like I just went ten rounds with Joe Louis.
Gibbs: Do you want to be a dad, Palmer? Because right now, this is being a dad.
Palmer: Maybe I'm not ready.
Gibbs: You wouldn't feel the way you feel, right now, if you weren't ready.