There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding “NCIS” star Mark Harmon’s return to the CBS series. Let’s get real: without Leroy Jethro Gibbs, “NCIS” does not exist. Gibbs is the heart of the long-running CBS drama series, and Harmon is the only one who can play that character. In February 2021, however, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Harmon was considering leaving “NCIS.” After millions of fans melted down over the prospect of “Gibbs” leaving his post on the CBS series, Harmon and producers went back to the negotiating table to discuss the 19th season.
“NCIS” is one of the most-watched TV dramas in the world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the CBS series is one of the longest-running primetime TV shows. After all, it has been on the air for 18 seasons. Only three other primetime dramas have enjoyed the same longevity as the CBS hit. THR noted that “only ‘Law & Order: SVU’ the original ‘Law & Order,’ and ‘Gunsmoke,'” have run longer than the top drama.
Reports of problems between “NCIS” cast members could be at the root of Harmon’s tentative exit — the most dramatic being the feud between executive producer Harmon and co-star Pauley Perrette. The two stars went to war over a dog bite in 2018, with Perrette leaving “NCIS.”
Since leaving the CBS series, the actor who played forensic scientist Abigail “Abby” Sciuto tweeted she was “terrified of Harmon and him attacking me.” Both Harmon and CBS declined to comment on Perrette’s claims that Harmon physically harmed her. Keep scrolling to see what the future holds for Harmon on “NCIS.”
Inside Mark Harmon's decision about 'NCIS' Season 19
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “NCIS” and star Mark Harmon are returning for Season 19. But the long-term status of the beloved actor on the CBS show is far from certain. It’s easy to understand why Harmon wants to step away from “NCIS,” however. Actors who left the CBS series say working long days for eight months a year is hard on family life.
The “NCIS” star is almost 70. Harmon was born Thomas Mark Harmon in Southern California, September 2, 1951. He is the son of Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and actor Elyse Knox and played college football at UCLA (via Football Foundation). Harmon has played Leroy Jethro Gibbs for so long that some fans might not remember his successful TV and movie career before “NCIS.” Harmon starred in the popular movies, like “Summer School” and “Stealing Home.” He also starred in the hit TV dramas “Chicago Hope” and “The West Wing.”
The popular “NCIS” franchise has spun off into “NCIS: New Orleans” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” and the upcoming “NCIS: Hawaii.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, “NCIS” is the “number one global TV series in the world,” and the show is “licensed in more than 200 countries and territories.” The CBS network executives are probably trying hard to keep Harmon on the series to maintain its reign.
The good news for “NCIS” fans is that Harmon will return for another season. According to THR, Harmon might not appear in every episode next season. But even a little bit of Gibbs is better than none!
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