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Mick Joest

NCIS’ Wilmer Valderrama And Sean Murray May Play ‘Buddy-Buddy’, But New Set Rumor Reveals It May Be Far From The Truth

Torres and McGee on NCIS

NCIS is rolling strong ahead of Season 21, and that's thanks in no small part to the chemistry of its current cast. Despite the departure of Mark Harmon in Season 19, the CBS drama has managed to maintain a solid audience across CBS and those tuning in using their Paramount+ subscriptions. Despite that success, some allegations have surfaced pointing to behind-the-scenes issues between Nick Torres actor Wilmer Valderrama and Tim McGee portrayer Sean Murray, despite the public perception they're buddy-buddy. 

Months after Sean Murray publicly referred to Wilmer Valderrama as a "brother," rumors are spinning around the idea that the two TV stars are very competitive behind the scenes. Radar Online reported that it's actually led to some tension between them when it comes to credit for the show's continued success: 

They may be playing buddy-buddy in the show promos, but they have to do that, they're still as competitive as they ever were — maybe more so now that Wilmer's got it in his head that fans love him more!

The rumor goes on to allege that Wilmer Valderrama has requested more "perks" for his portrayal as Nick Torres but that he's reminded that as the veteran actor, Sean Murray gets top billing. The aforementioned wording used is "competitive," which doesn't seem to necessarily indicate bad blood between them, but it's certainly possible that could be the case. It's also possible that there's nothing going on between these two actors, as this is just an unconfirmed rumor. 

It's interesting to hear this chatter about NCIS stars, especially with Wilmer Valderrama involved. The Season 20 finale was a big one for Nick Torres and suggested that Season 21 will begin with him potentially murdering a man from his past. Mark Harmon's Gibbs also put a man down in cold blood before, so it's not too wild to believe Torres will do the same. 

As big as the ending of NCIS Season 20 was, there's no denying what Sean Murray brings to the table as McGee. He's the collective glue that holds the NCIS team together and one of the most tenured actors on the show next to Brian Dietzen's Jimmy Palmer and David McCallum's Donald "Ducky" Mallard (who appears sporadically at this point). Jimmy certainly gets more screen time than he has in previous seasons thanks to his romance with Katrina Law's Jessica Knight, but it's McGee who consistently serves as the bridge between the old school and new school NCIS

Stories about potential NCIS tension might be of interest to fans of the CBS series, especially with Wilmer Valderrama in high demand around Hollywood. The actor is starring in a Zorro series for Disney+, and reprised his role as Fez for That 90s Show on Netflix, without any negative-skewing reports coming from either project as of yet. 

With every new project he takes on, there's always a question of whether it will signal his NCIS tenure is reaching its end. If the rumors are true that he's being denied perks due to set superiority issues, he could be looking for any of this next projects to be the one that closes out Torres' character arc. 

Catch up on NCIS ahead of Season 21 by streaming the show over on Paramount+. As for the rumors on any rivalries happening behind the scenes, we'll just have to wait and see if any more develops on that front.  

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