‘NCIS’: How Long Will Show Continue Following Mark Harmon’s Exit?

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

Mark Harmon is officially off “NCIS.” Now what?

Many fans considered Leroy Jethro Gibbs the main focal point and star of the long-running procedural drama. He was one of the last main cast members left that has been around since season one of the series.

Other long-term characters are Ducky and Agent McGee. It’s a bit different though, seeing as Gibbs was the leader of the “NCIS” team. We’ve watched him say goodbye to countless other characters over the years, but saying goodbye to Gibbs was an emotional moment for fans of the series.

Can ‘NCIS’ Exist Without Gibbs?

Now, many are wondering just how long “NCIS” will go on without Gibbs. It’s quite possible that fans will lose interest in the series following his exit. Which could potentially then lead to a drastic dip in both viewers and ratings for CBS, leading to cancellation.

It’s no surprise that Gibbs left. We all knew that Mark Harmon had signed on for a limited series appearance this time around. It was only a matter of time until he left for good.

Some fans are already saying that they’re done watching. One person wrote, “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 many fans, not watching the show anymore isn’t out of anger or frustration. Rather, Gibbs leaving just seems like a natural way to say goodbye to the program that’s been on for close to two decades.

One fan wrote, “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.”

Possible Return for Beloved Character

At the bare minimum, “NCIS” will have to continue and finish off this season. It’s unclear if it will get picked up for another season. Although Harmon isn’t on-screen, he still works as an executive producer of the series.

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years…never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” the Executive Producer and Showrunner Steven D. Binder said, according to TV Insider.

So, although Gibbs said goodbye, it seems more than likely he would drop by for a season or series finale at some point. That might make “NCIS” fans want to stick around for a bit to see this possibility come to life at some point.