‘NCIS’: How the Show Performed After Losing Gibbs in 2021

by Madison Miller

During season 19 of “NCIS,” the longtime series took a big hit to its cast list.

The drama series said goodbye to its star, Mark Harmon. He has been portraying Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the agent in charge of the “NCIS” team, since the show first aired in 2003. To be exact, he first appeared as Gibbs in a backdoor pilot of “JAG.”

We’ve said goodbye to plenty of actors on “NCIS” over the nearly two decades the show has been on. That includes Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, Sasha Alexander, and Cote de Pablo. None of them had quite the same impact as Gibbs leaving, however. In many ways, fans believe that Gibbs is the focal point of the entire show.

It begs the question, has the show still been performing well in ratings following his departure?

TV Ratings for ‘NCIS’

For fall numbers, “NCIS” actually did amazingly well.

According to TVLine, the show had an absolutely massive audience of 11.43 viewers. This means that there are still a lot of viewers willing to turn on the show when it’s on. It’s being called TV’s most-watched entertainment program, which includes “Yellowstone.”

What it was not performing too well in was ratings, however. It only has a 1.0 rating which isn’t terrible but really isn’t great, either. For reference, “9-1-1” has one of the highest ratings with a 1.4, but only has 8.34 viewers.

It’s no surprise that the ratings dipped a little following Gibbs’ exit. His departure is likely the most dramatic and influential on a major broadcast show during the fall season. The “NCIS” world also introduced a new rookie series, “NCIS: Hawai’i,” which could be helping people stick around in the franchise.

“NCIS: Hawai’i” is tied with “FBI: International” as the most-watched new show.

The Reason Some Fans Think Gibbs Will Return

Although Gibbs said goodbye close to the beginning of this current season of “NCIS,” some fans are still hopeful that he could return.

He is still working as an executive producer of the series, which means it wouldn’t be totally impossible. Some are skeptical, seeing as he had quite the send-off. That included some tearful goodbyes to Ducky, Torres, Leon, and, perhaps the most gut-wrenching, McGee.

Fans are hopeful Gibbs will return to “NCIS” and are citing the opening credits for this feeling. Mark Harmon is still the first person to pop up and be introduced at the beginning of each new episode. While it’s possible the show doesn’t want to change the credits until the start of a new season, other fans think otherwise.

“And that confirms it Gibbs is not 100% done they still have him in the intro credits, if he was gone he would [have] been removed,” wrote one person on Twitter.

His name in the credits could also just be linked to his producing role, rather than an acting role.