‘NCIS’: Here’s Why Pam Dawber Made an Unexpected Departure This Season

by Madison Miller

When Pam Dawber came storming onto “NCIS” as journalist Marcie Warren, fans thought that this could finally be Gibbs’ chance to settle down and find long-term romance finally.

Pam Dawber and Mark Harmon, who plays Gibbs, are actually married in real life. When it comes to romantic pairings on TV, it doesn’t get much better than that.

As quickly as she appeared, Dawber and Marcie were out the “NCIS” door again and Gibbs was alone once again. Why was Marcie’s character so quick to depart the series?

Marcie and Gibbs

Marcie is a journalist that comes to town to cover the serial killer that is on a rampage in the area. She begins working to track down the killer alongside Gibbs, who is separated from “NCIS” at the time. Dawber first appeared in season 18, but then only had two episodes in season 19 before an emotional exit.

When the serial killer was finally brought into custody, Marcie was quick to leave. The case was over, therefore, her time with Gibbs was over. It was a blow to certain fans who thought she might stick around and work on future “NCIS” cases. She told Gibbs’ character that she needed a break after the hard and stressful search for the killer.

As for Pam Dawber, her role in the series was never going to last too long. She did come out of her retirement in order to play this part. It was the first time she ever appeared on camera alongside Mark Harmon. It makes a lot of sense that she was a recurring character for only about a season.

Pam Dawber Reason for Leaving ‘NCIS’

According to ET Canada, she did specifically come out of retirement for this role and hasn’t been in a major production since “I’ll Remember April” in 2000.

The exact reason she didn’t want to stick around the show is unknown. It’s likely it was a mutual and agreed-upon length of time even before filming started.

It wasn’t the first time “NCIS” writers approached her about joining the show. However, it was the first time the role being offered piqued her interest. “The character is fantastic. I was very enamored with what they had written. Then I was anxious, thinking, ‘Oh my God, am I going to do this?’” she told Entertainment Weekly in April.

Marcie was a character that she felt was very worth playing, despite years of saying no. She did come to set with a couple of conditions. The biggest had to do with romance with her character.

“I talked to the writers and the producers before I signed on and said, ‘If this is a romantic interest, I’m not interested.’ They said not at all, that’s not where we’re going with this,” Dawber said to the news outlet. That turned out true, seeing as she left just as business was taken care of. That didn’t stop some fans from wishing for even a glimmer of romance for Gibbs.

Despite some fans being disappointed, many thought it was fun to see Harmon and Dawber finally on the screen together. Her departure even referenced her famous show “Mork & Mindy” that she did alongside Robin Williams. Someone mistook her name for Mindy on “NCIS.”