‘NCIS’ Showrunner Comments on What the Show Is ‘Trying To Focus On’ Amid Rumors of Mark Harmon’s Exit

by Anna Dunn

NCIS showrunner Steven D. Binder got candid with TV Line in a recent Q&A about the show. NCIS is returning for its 19th season next month, but it’s amidst a major shake-up in the cast. There are also rumors that lead actor Mark Harmon wanted to leave the series.

Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter, released a report saying that the iconic agent Gibbs Actor allegedly wanted to leave the series, but stayed on once he realized leaving the series could result in its cancellation. Still, TV Line later reported that Harmon would only appear in a small handful of episodes in season 19.

“A lot of things are reported on this show that aren’t necessarily true,” Binder told TV Line. And as far as making NCIS is concerned, Gibbs is still very much a key part of it.

“What we’re trying to focus on right now is telling the best stories we can with the characters we have — and Gibbs is a part of that world. And I think we’re doing a pretty good job with that,” Binder said. What exactly Binder is referring to when it comes to mistruths is unclear. Some fans are hoping this is a sign that Harmon may want to stick around for a little while longer.

CBS Would Love for Mark Harmon to Stay on ‘NCIS’

Not only would NCIS fans love for mark Harmon to continue playing Special Agent Gibbs, but higher-ups at CBS would also love for Harmon to stay. At least, that’s according to a Deadline interview with CBS President of Scripted Entertainment Kelly Kahl.

“We take it year by year with Mark. We’d love to have him as long as he’d like to be here,” Kahl told the publication. “Even in this past season, he might have been light in a couple of [episodes], so we’re happy to work around his schedule.

There’s a reason why keeping Harmon around is so crucial. NCIS is the top-rated scripted drama in the world, bringing in major numbers for CBS. Not only does NCIS do well, but it’s also spawned three different spinoff shows for the network. NCIS: New Orleans, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: Hawai’i are all unique spinoffs.

CBS canceled NCIS: New Orleans after 7 years, but it still did well for the network during the time it had on the show. Meanwhile, NCIS: Los Angeles seems to be thriving. The Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J-headed series is heading into its 13th season, which will premiere on October 10th.

NCIS: Hawai’i is the newest of the bunch. It hasn’t even aired an episode, and some fans are already excited. The new series starring Vanessa Lachey will premiere on September 20th, right after NCIS season 19 premieres with Mark Harmon still at the helm.