'NCIS' Season Finale To Address Death Of Ralph Waite

By BRENT FURDYK
Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The loss of Ralph Waite will impact the hit procedural NCIS, in which the former Waltons star portrayed the father of NCIS boss Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

As TVLine reports, NCIS showrunner "Gary Glasberg and the writers are working on something special to address the passing of Ralph Waite in the season finale," says a CBS spokesperson. This sendoff, the spokesperson adds, will "honour both the memory of Ralph, as well as the character of Jackson Gibbs."

Waite's first NCIS appearance came in season six; since then, the actor made a total of seven guest-starring appearances on the show.

Waite passed away on Feb. 13 at age 85.

NCIS returns with new episodes tonight, Tuesday Feb. 25 on Global.