‘NCIS’ Star Sean Murray Once Recalled His First Impression of Mark Harmon

by Shelby Scott

Sean Murray and Mark Harmon starred together on NCIS as agents Timothy McGee and Leroy Jethro Gibbs for an impressive 19 seasons. However, the pair of actors actually first met on a 1990s short-lived series called Harts of the West. After meeting Harmon on the earlier series, Murray shared his first impression of his costar, even calling him a “mentor.”

According to Techno Trenz, Harts of the West was a Western dramedy. At the time of its running, NCIS‘s Sean Murray was just 15 years old. As per the outlet, the CBS Western was set on a dude ranch in Nevada. The show ran from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1994 for just one season.

In addition to Murray, the ’90s series was set to feature Jeff Bridges, cast to play a “drunken rodeo clown.” However, due to scheduling conflicts, producers scrapped Bridges. Instead, they hired none other than NCIS‘s stoic former special agent in charge, Gibbs actor Mark Harmon.

Of his first encounter with Harmon, Sean Murray said, “They got Harmon to come and do the part instead…which I’ll never forget. That’s where Harmon and I first met.”

From their first encounter on Harts of the West through 19 seasons of NCIS, Mark Harmon and Sean Murray remained incredibly close. Murray further said of his costar, “When he… did Harts of the West, he made quite an impression on me. I had a few scenes with him, and we discussed craft and other things extensively. So it’s wonderful to be able to collaborate with him once more after all these years. And whether or not he realizes it, he has served as somewhat of a mentor to me.”

What Comes Next for NCIS Agent McGee?

It’s interesting to know just how important a role Mark Harmon has played all these years in Sean Murray’s acting career because we see a similar kind of relationship between their characters on the small screen. Both Gibbs and McGee make their first NCIS appearance during the show’s first season, however, interestingly, Murray was never intended to become a cast regular. However, that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, in graduating from “probie” to senior field agent, McGee developed a very special father-son-like relationship with Gibbs. However, writers broke our hearts when the duo shared an emotional goodbye during the fourth episode of NCIS‘s 19th season. Now, heading into its milestone 20th season, fans are wondering what comes next for Sean Murray’s character.

Well, compared to the season 19 premiere, all eyes are turned on Special Agent Alden Parker as he goes on the run after becoming framed for murder. Likely then, that leaves McGee to step in as senior field agent and head up the investigation. Aside from that, where does that leave McGee?

Well, he’s a dedicated husband and father. And, after starring beside his real-life daughter during one of season 19’s final episodes, we’d love to see the character in a more family-centric role. Be sure to tune in for the NCIS season 20 premiere when it airs Monday, September 19th at 9 p.m.