Norristown's Maria Bello is joining the most-watched show in the world, CBS' NCIS.
The Villanova grad, whose most recent TV gig was playing the lawyer ex-wife of Billy Bob Thornton's character in Amazon's dark Goliath, will make her NCIS debut in the fourth episode this fall.
The hit show returns for its 15th season at 8 p.m. Sept. 26.
According to CBS, Bello will play an NCIS agent — am I the only one who's forgotten that NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service? –who formerly was commissioned as a U.S. Army second lieutenant and served two tours in Afghanistan. Now she's reputed to be NCIS' top forensic psychologist, someone who "can second-guess and challenge" Mark Harmon's character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
"We have always been big fans of Maria Bello's work and are excited to be introducing her as an agent who not only has distinct talent, but also a unique relationship with Gibbs," said NCIS executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea in a prepared statement released by CBS.
Bello, who's also a writer, has long moved freely between movies — The Cooler, Lights Out — and TV — ER, Prime Suspect, Touch — while maintaining a busy life as a social activist and supporter of relief efforts in Haiti.
"We don't have to worry about how many times we say [expletive] or showing a [breast]. But it's so much more than that. I think on network shows, they want people to be likable. On cable and streaming, they don't need to be."