‘NCIS’ EP Speaks Out About Mark Harmon’s Future

by Megan Molseed
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It’s been nearly a year since NCIS fans bid farewell to one of the show’s most prolific characters, Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And, even though it’s been a bit since Harmon appeared on screen with his NCIS costars, fans can’t help but wonder: is there any hope at all that the longtime actor will be returning to the series for the 20th season?

Well, much like many things in life, few things are certain…so fans can never wholly rule out a reunion with Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Plus, Mark Harmon still plays a pivotal role in the series serving as one of the executive producers of the popular TV procedural drama series. And, even in his absence, it’s clear that the NCIS team still has a strong bond with their beloved former leader.

Mark Harmon Has Made It Clear That He Isn’t Done With Acting

When rumors that Mark Harmon would be exiting the popular CBS series last season, the actor was clear about one thing…he isn’t done with acting. In fact, it’s the passion that remains in the field that inspired Harmon to step away from the series.

Much of the reason for the star’s NCIS departure includes his desire to step into new roles. A change that he no doubt welcomed. NCIS officer Leroy Gibbs is a great character, no doubt, but Harmon spent nearly 20 years in this one role!

Is NCIS Keeping The Door Open For Harmon To Return To His Fan-Favorite Role?

According to Matt & Jess, one of the NCIS showrunners, Steven D. Binder, notes that the series wanted to put Harmon’s character “nowhere” in his retirement. And, this certainly leaves things wide open for a Gibbs reunion.

“It just didn’t feel right to see him retired and shopping at the grocery store,” the showrunner explains.

“Working in his basement, and playing checkers in the park,” Steven D. Binder adds.

“It just didn’t seem right to put him actually anywhere,” he continues.

“So we ended up putting him nowhere,” Binder says of the NCIS player.

“He went off into the wilderness, into the wild,” the EP relates, adding that this certainly leaves things open for Gibbs’ return at some point in the future. Binder notes that Gibbs’ retirement plans certainly leave a reunion a realistic “possibility.”

“It didn’t leave the audience with any specific thing,” the showrunner adds of the NCIS officer’s retirement plan.

“It allowed the audience to imagine what happened to Gibbs. He can come back,” he says. “He’s safe. He’s happy.”

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