NCIS star Brian Dietzen’s personal item helped land him Jimmy Palmer role ‘Made choices’

NCIS wouldn’t be the same without the lovable chief medical examiner Jimmy Palmer, brought to life by none other than actor Brian Dietzen.
NCIS is returning for season 20 which marks the CBS drama’s second decade on the network. Some of its stars have come and gone throughout this time but one of the actors who have remained is Brian Dietzen as chirpy Jimmy Palmer. However, the original plan was for Dietzen to make an appearance for just one episode.
Dietzen was welcomed onto The Steve Harvey Show in March 2015 to talk about 10 years of NCIS.

He discussed how the cast still like each other after all this time and how “blessed” they were to enjoy their jobs.

Host Harvey then brought up the fact Dietzen wasn’t actually intended to be part of the show for very long at all.
But it was thanks to a last-minute addition to his audition that secured the 44-year-old actor a callback.


Dietzen explained: “It was supposed to be one day and done [for Jimmy on NCIS].

“I got these glasses, they were my backup glasses because I couldn’t find my real ones.

“And I went to this audition and made some choices with this character to make him kind of apologetic and peevish and really uncertain because I didn’t have anything like that on my reel.

“I thought ‘It’s just a one-day thing, I’ll just do it and go home’. And they kept asking me back so I was really really blessed, 10 years later.”


Dietzen had been making appearances in NCIS since 2004, taking over as Donald “Ducky” Mallard’s (played by David McCallum) assistant.

He remained in a supporting role up until 2012 when he was finally promoted to series regular at the beginning of season 10.

Jimmy has always been the upbeat member of the team, ready to perk his colleagues up as well as provide support in times of trouble.

But it was in season 18 when Jimmy was in need of a helping hand as tragedy struck.
The same year that Dietzen was made series regular, Jimmy married mortician Breena (Michelle Pierce).
They went on to have a daughter Victoria and despite some marital troubles later on, Jimmy and Breena were still going strong.

Fans were left devastated in season 18 though when it was discovered Breena had been giving an off-screen exit.

She d***d of coronavirus, leaving Jimmy a widower and a single parent to their young daughter.
Jimmy has since once again opened up his heart as he has started falling for Agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law).

There has been plenty of flirtation between the two since she arrived and they have now gone on a few dates.

So could there really be a future for Jimmy and Jessica?

NCIS season 20 premieres on Monday, September 19, on CBS in the USA. A UK release date hasn’t been announced.

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