NCIS veterans, executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea, have been named co-showrunners of the long-running CBS drama series. The appointment comes a little over a month after the sudden death of NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg at the age of 50.

The NCIS cast and crew are known as a close-knit family, so the series was expected to reach within for a new showrunner, especially at this moment, when everyone on the show is still coming to terms with Glasberg’s unexpected passing.

NCIS
Cliff Lipson/CBS

“The NCIS family suffered a tragic loss with the sudden passing of our showrunner, Gary Glasberg,” Schenck and Cardea said. “It’s with heavy hearts that we assume his duties. We are fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly talented and dedicated cast and crew, which will make the transition that much easier. Thank you to the NCIS fans for the outpouring of love we have all received.”

Schenck and Cardea, who have been writing partners for nearly 40 years — since 1977 — have been on NCIS since the first season and have written more than 50 episodes of the series to date. NCIS, produced by CBS TV Studios, is currently in its 14th season, part of a two-season pickup. It remains the most watched broadcast drama on television, averaging 17.6 million viewers per episode.

Prior to joining NCIS, Schenck and Cardea created five network series including Crazy Like A Fox, and served as showrunners on multiple projects.