Why Mark Harmon Is Still a Part of ‘NCIS’ Despite Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Departure
Mark Harmon unexpectedly left NCIS early in season 19. Harmon’s character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who had been a series staple since the show’s debut in 2003, decided to retire in Alaska after working his final case in episode 4 “Great Wide Open.” Despite Gibbs’ departure from the show, Harmon remains a member of NCIS.
‘NCIS’ EP advises viewers to ‘never count out.’ Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon
Tim McGee (Sean Murray) left Gibbs fishing in Alaska, and fans have been wondering if the character would return for a guest appearance. However, Gibbs has only been mentioned in the series after his exit, not seen.
Executive producer Steven D. Binder immediately hinted at Harmon’s possible return the night his final episode aired on CBS. Fans should “never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” he wrote on social media. Binder doubled down on that statement a few months later, at PaleyFest in April 2022.
“Never underestimate Leroy Jethro Gibbs. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I wouldn’t count anyone out, d3ad or alive, on the show,” Binder told Parade.
Mark Harmon remains a member of ‘NCIS’ even after Gibbs’ departure.
Despite his departure as the series’ lead actor, Harmon continues to serve as the show’s executive producer. Harmon, according to Murray, is still very much a part of NCIS behind the scenes. And the actor does not rule out the possibility of Gibbs “popping up somewhere” in the future.
“He does come in,” Murray admitted. “I saw him about two weeks ago.” So he’s present. He hasn’t packed his belongings and left town. I’m not saying this as a tease or anything, but I truly believe that the Gibbs could appear somewhere. That is something I firmly believe is possible.”
Agent Alden Parker describes Gary Cole as “kicking all kinds of ass.”
Whether or not Gibbs returns, Murray claims that Gary Cole, the actor hired to replace Harmon, is k1lling it in his new role as FBI-turned-NCIS agent Alden Parker.
“I think Gary is kicking a lot of asses,” Murray said. “I adore it. I remember being very excited when Binder told me a year and a half ago that Gary would be joining the team.”
Cole’s character took over the team as boss once he joined the cast. As a result, he became Gibbs’ replacement. Murray, on the other hand, does not see it that way.
“He doesn’t feel like a replacement for Mark in any way.” “Even though he is filling a position left vacant by Gibbs, the team dynamics are different,” Murray explained. “As they should, they play differently. It should not be the same. If we tried to replicate what we did with Mark, we’d be like, ‘Why am I even showing up for work..?’”