‘NCIS’: Could Season 19 Be the ‘Beginning of the End’ for Gibbs Actor Mark Harmon After His Announcement to ‘Step-Back’

by Matthew Wilson
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Could “NCIS” survive without Mark Harmon at the helm? The actor has led the crime drama for almost 20 years but this could be the beginning of the end for his character Leroy Gibbs.

Fans are worried heading into Season 19. Reportedly, Harmon is considering the end of his run as the seasoned NCIS commander. If reports are true, the actor almost didn’t come back for another season. But after talking it out with CBS, he agreed to return in a limited capacity for the upcoming episodes. Neither CBS nor Harmon have officially commented on a change.

But Harmon has been a mainstay on “NCIS” since its backdoor pilot on “JAG” all those years ago. While other actors have come and gone, he’s been the glue that’s held it together. And “NCIS” is arguably his show more than any others. So with over 400 episodes under his belt, Harmon may be finally considering retiring from the popular role.

While Harmon is coming back for another season, the show has also set up his exit as well. If the actor wants to leave, those feelings are unlikely to change even in a limit capacity role. So Season 19 may very well be the actor’s last on “NCIS.” The show has survived other status quo changes. But this may be a tall ask for the “NCIS” faithful.

‘NCIS’ Fans Debate Mark Harmon’s Future

Look on any social media these days, and you’ll find anxious “NCIS” fans debating the future of the show. On Twitter, a few fans wondered if the show could survive without Mark Harmon. Many seem to think it would be best to end the flagship show instead.

One fan wrote on Twitter, “Does anyone believe NCIS can continue to have great ratings or even survive without Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs?”

Meanwhile, another tried to get to the bottom of Harmon’s role in the upcoming season. They wrote: “@NCIS_CBS @CBSTVStudios Is there confirmation of Mr Harmon’s role in S19? Respectfully if Mr. Harmon wants to step away, his choice should be respected & it’s best to end the series, with a proper happy ending for him/Gibbs. #MarkHarmon.”

Meanwhile, on Reddit, fans discussed whether Harmon will take on a role similar to David McCallum. McCallum was a mainstay on the show but in recent seasons took on a more recurring guest role. One user wrote, “So the gist is that Mark Harmon will be on a reduced schedule like David McCallum and they hope [Gary] Cole will somehow fill the void. I predict the upcoming season is the final season.”

But one fan admitted they probably won’t even stick out Season 19 if Harmon isn’t coming back in a full-time capacity. They wrote, “Low single-digit numbers for Mark Harmon appearances? Sorry but this is where I tap out.”

Outsider.com