Before Mark Harmon starred on the hit CBS drama NCIS, he starred on another big-time television program, The West Wing.
Yes, the show that starred Martin Sheen and is still binge-watched by thousands still today on various streaming platforms. Harmon appeared in four episodes on the program beginning on the eighteenth episode of season three. His role? He was a secret service agent named Simon Donovan.
While briefly on the show, Donovan briefly protects C.J. Cregg. The manner in which he does so is appealing to her, but nothing comes of the interest between the two as Donovan is not long for The West Wing World and is killed in action. It wasn’t all bad for Harmon, though, as he appeared in the pilot for this show you might be familiar with, NCIS, just a year later.
The West Wing Reunion
In the fall of 2020, Aaron Sorkin and the crew from the original hit drama reconvened for a reunion of sorts. Even returning was Sheen who played the president Jed Bartlett. The show clearly meant a lot to Sheen who spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the mini-return.
What’s interesting is that the reunion happened on stage, and it became more than just a reading of lines from the original episode. Sheen said of the reunion, “Although the experience was limited in how much we could socialize with each other, the fact that we could play together was absolutely satisfying in very, very personal ways. We have not played together in almost 15 years. We’ve done a few podcasts here and there and some reunions just to sit and talk a little bit, but this was very special, because we have not played together since this time.”
Shows like NCIS and The West Wing
That’s how it goes sometimes, right? Even though this cast spent so much time together on the hit program for so many years, things change. Sometimes when shows end that is the last time the crew ever sees and socializes with one another. Each actor has their own lives and goals and schedules. So it makes sense that Sheen and the rest of the cast had not been all in the same place again at the same time. The same will likely be true for NCIS, Blue Bloods and all of the other hit dramas where we have come to view the cast as a family.
The West Wing was one of the most popular television programs eve. The show took home 26 Primetime Emmys along with 263 award nominations in totality. The orginal cast included Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Dule Hill and so many others. You can rewatch the program now on streaming services like HBO MAX.