‘NCIS’: Latest Update on How Many Episodes We Can Expect to See Mark Harmon in Season 19

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images)

There are less than two weeks until the season 19 premiere of the hit CBS show “NCIS.” And as season 18 concluded, fans were left with several important questions that we’ve just been dying to get answers to. Currently, while the fate of the beloved show’s patriarch, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, remains unspecified, we do know two things. One, Gibbs lives on into season 19, presumably pursuing a serial killer on his own. And now, we can (almost) confirm just about how many episodes the Gibbs actor, Mark Harmon, plans to star in.

During CBS‘s Television Critics Association Press Tour panel Thursday, the network’s Entertainment President Kelly Kahl provided media as many answers as possible. Those surround both the fate of Gibbs and “NCIS” with as little detail as possible. Frustrating as his ambiguous answers were, it makes sense showrunners want to keep the premiere as much of a surprise as possible.

Kahl confirmed that, as many of us have come to expect, Gibbs will not appear in every episode. Further, he did not specify exactly how many episodes the central character will star in.

Regardless, he emphasized that “Mark’s always going to be part of [‘NCIS’].” He explained that, since the show’s initial airing back in 2003, the actor has been central to the plot of “NCIS,” however, he also detailed the importance of Harmon’s contributions as an executive producer off-screen.

“In terms of [Harmon’s] on-air appearances,” Kahl began, “we’re just going to have to see how it plays out going forward.”

‘NCIS’ Sees New Character Additions Ahead of Mark Harmon’s Reduced Role

The CBS Entertainment President did not confirm much information that we haven’t already provided Outsiders. However, we did want to provide some clarifying points that further prepare fans everywhere for “NCIS” season 19.

June saw a source reveal to outlets following season 18, Mark Harmon would make a “small number” of appearances this season. Episodes featuring the “NCIS” star range in the “low single digits.”

Further, showrunner Steven D. Binder previously revealed that production purposely left the season 18 finale of “NCIS” open-ended. In this way, “All things are still possible with Gibbs.”

Binder further emphasized that “NCIS” producers and showrunners are doing their best to work with what they can. Binder previously stated, “What we’re trying to focus on right now is telling the best stories we can with the characters we have.”

On that note, “NCIS” season 19 promises a little bit of transition with a host of new characters. NCIS leader, Special Agent Gibbs, has been working with journalist Marcie Warren to track down a serial killer. Meanwhile, the agency in D.C. welcomed an onslaught of new characters in preparation for the new season premiere.

Season 19 saw the addition of a new series regular, Katrina Law, set to play Special Agent Jessica Knight. However, more notably, the “NCIS” cast saw the addition of actor, Gary Cole. Cole will play FBI Special Agent Alden Park. Since the announcement, fans debated whether or not Park will take Gibbs’ position should he permanently leave “NCIS.”

With so little time between us and the season premiere, answers will soon be at our doorstep.