How ‘NCIS’ Star Brian Dietzen Feels About ‘Living Legends’ Mark Harmon and David McCallum

by Shelby Scott

“NCIS” issued its enormous fanbase a major blow at the final departure of the show’s longtime agent, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Gibbs actor Mark Harmon’s final episode served as a good-bye feature to the beloved actor and character. More than a week later, we are still processing our thoughts and emotions.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Timothy McGee actor Sean Murray and Medical Examiner Jimmy Palmer actor Brian Dietzen remain “NCIS’s” only original cast members. Both got their start way back in Season 1. As such, they’ve both starred alongside the show’s iconic actors, Mark Harmon and Dr. “Ducky” Mallard actor, David McCallum, since the show’s kick-off almost two decades ago.

Now it appears Special Agent McGee moves to the forefront of the team. Brian Dietzen additionally commented on what it’s been like to star alongside “NCIS’s” living legends, namely Harmon and McCallum.

During an interview with Pop Entertainment, Dietzen said, “What’s great about working with David and Mark…is that you don’t feel an intimidation factor when you are on the set.”

The “NCIS” star also shared during the interview, “I’m learning to enjoy what we have, because it doesn’t come along very often… I realize I need to appreciate it in the moment because this thing is not going to be around forever.”

Interestingly, Dietzen made the sentimental point nearly a decade ago during the Pop Entertainment sit-down. Now we realize just how accurate his claims were as, 9 seasons later, many fan-favorites have departed “NCIS.”

‘NCIS’ Fans Struggle to Adapt to Gibbs’ Replacement

As I said before and Brian Dietzen predicted even earlier, “NCIS” has changed a lot since its debut in 2003. It’s seen the departure of numerous beloved characters. These include Special Agents Kate Todd, Ziva David, and Ellie Bishop, as well as “Very” Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo, and, of course, the beloved forensic scientist, Abby Sciuto.

However, despite all of those transitions and adjustments, none have riled fans up as much as the departure of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And understandably so. Longtime “NCIS” fans first met the iconic agent in the very first minutes of the show’s pilot episode, “Yankee White.”

Now, 19 seasons later, Gibbs has been replaced by ex-FBI Agent Alden Parker. And many were unhappy to see the position go to the new character rather than McGee. One Redditor shared, “McGee’s entire thing was him eventually taking over the team, and with him now the only original cast member left, it really should be him.”

While our Redditor has a point, showrunner Steven D. Binder shared an explanation as to why McGee did not end up replacing Gibbs. The “NCIS” representative shared Gibbs did not choose Parker over McGee from the start. He stated, “I would like to think Gibbs and McGee had plenty of time to talk about the future and what McGee told Torres on the stake-out…Gibbs already knew.”

Overall, it appears McGee did not become team leader for a handful of reasons. First off, he saw what became of Gibbs and his family, choosing to avoid that fate himself. He additionally shared he did not want the paperwork and responsibilities required of Gibbs’ position, frequently taking him away from the field.