Wilmer Valderrama on How He's Evolving 'NCIS' (Exclusive)

Valderrama joined the CBS staple in season 14 as special agent Nicholas Torres.

Wilmer Valderrama wasn't supposed to spill the tea. But he did, and NCIS fans are going to be thrilled with what he shared.

Speaking to ET's Kevin Frazier on the red carpet Sunday at the 81st Golden Globes, the 43-year-old actor shared for the first time how the iconic CBS staple will evolve with the upcoming 21st season. As fans know by now, NCIS will debut a shortened season (largely in part due to the writers' strike) -- 10 episodes versus the conventional 22.

But those 10 episodes will be unlike anything fans have ever experienced, because Valderrama tells ET they will not be stand-alone episodes. NCIS will now weave the episodes together.

"Everyone knows it's a shortened season. We're doing 10 episodes. Because we're doing 10 and not your conventional 22, we've decided to have a little bit more fun with the new generation of streaming content and really have our show feel like something you have to watch all 10 together," he tells ET. "So, yeah, it's different. You heard it here first. I'm not allowed to say it out loud. I wasn't supposed to, and now I'm in a lot of trouble, but yes."

In essence, the show's evolving and keeping up with the times.

"We're gonna try to make sure that every time an episode ends, you know, something in that episode is gonna carry over and we're gonna try because I think it's time for producers to evolve and the future of content and how it's being consumed. I think CBS does it better, they know their audience super well. So, I'm really proud of what we're doing."

Valderrama joined NCIS in season 14 and portrays Special Agent Nicholas Torres. His character at times has also crossed over to other spinoffs, including NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: Hawaii.


Valderrama, who walked the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton with his fiancée, Amanda Pacheco, also offered another huge update on Disney's live-action Zorro series: He got the scripts.

"Yeah. I'm not supposed to say that," Valderrama said. "I can't tell you anything about it, as you know, but it's one of the proudest moments of my childhood to be able to be responsible for that first Zorro script in almost 60 years. I'm really blessed of what possibly this could mean to our communities and multiple communities in California."

Valderrama called it "a dream come true" when he was attached to the series in 2021.

"Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero," he said at the time in a statement. "As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility in the stories that I help bring to life."

The 2024 Golden Globes hosted by Jo Koy is on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+. Check out ETonline.com for complete Golden Globes coverage and the full list of winners.