How ‘NCIS’ TV Ratings Held Up in First Week Without Mark Harmon

by Madison Miller
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Now that Mark Harmon has said his (tearful) goodbye to playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs on “NCIS,” are fans still willing to stick around?

Gibbs has been the focal point and the faithful leader of the original “NCIS” team since the program first aired back in 2003. In fact, Gibbs and other original team members were introduced during a backdoor pilot on “JAG.”

He has been the undeniable constant on the show. As characters like Pauley Perrette, Michael Weatherly, Sasha Alexander, and Cote de Pablo all left the show, Gibbs was still telling people to “Grab their gear” the whole time.

‘NCIS’ Ratings Without Gibbs

Mark Harmon said goodbye on October 11 during the episode “Great Wide Open.” Now, the most recent episode from last night was “Face the Strange.”

According to TV Line, during this last episode, “NCIS” had a total of 7.4 million viewers and a 0.6 rating. Despite losing one of the main stars, “NCIS” still remains an essential part of Monday night television. The show had the biggest audience last night, beating out other popular shows like “The Neighborhood,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “The Voice,” and “Dancing With the Stars.”

As for Gibbs’ farewell episode, it actually dipped in performance. It had a 0.56 rating and 7.66 million viewers. Both of which are same-day lows for the season so far, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

How Long Will Show Continue

“NCIS” is currently on season 19. After losing most of the core cast over the years and overcoming a lot of changes, “NCIS” has still managed to remain popular.

However, many people are wondering what the breaking point is.

Will Mark Harmon’s exit from the show cause CBS to potentially not renew for another season? Fans knew he signed on for a limited appearance this season, but how long can it really go on without Gibbs around.

One person wrote on social media, “I’ve seen every single episode. I’ve seen people come and go, from Kate, Ziva, Tony, Abby, and even Bishop but NCIS is Gibbs. He goes, I go.”

For fans, saying goodbye to Gibbs doesn’t feel the same as saying goodbye to other past characters. Gibbs’ exit feels more detrimental and permanent.

“Loved the ending for Gibbs, and I won’t watch anymore NCIS. That ending was perfect, that’s where they should’ve just ended the season. Definitely bittersweet,” another person wrote.

“NCIS” will finish this current season, but the future of the program does remain unclear. Mark Harmon decided to return for this season in a limited capacity in order to keep the show from being canceled.

So, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if CBS decided to wrap up the show after the end of this season.