Gibbs leaving NCIS has been hard for a lot of fans. Mark Harmon’s character was a legend on the show for close to twenty years. Folks loved him. They loved his character and miss him dearly. That being said, seeing Mark Harmon’s name in the title sequence after leaving NCIS is rubbing some fans the wrong way.
Mostly it’s just from confusion. If he’s not coming back, why leave him on the title sequence? One Twitter user wrote,“Mark Harmon is still in the title sequence, does this mean he will show back up again this season?”.
Another wrote, “I don’t mind seeing Mark Harmon in the opening credits when he’s in the episode, but, really @NCIS_CBS, must you include him when he’s NOT???”.
Fans still love Harmon and the show, but they’re not loving the fact that he is still popping up on their TV screens if he’s not going to appear.
Gary Cole Replaces Harmon on ‘NCIS’
Cole is not ever going to be Harmon. He is never going to try. That is not what he came to the program to be. He is his own character in Parker.
Cole said, “I’ve done a lot of dropping into shows, [usually] as a recurring character. [See: Suits, The Good Wife.] Part of my job description is to get comfortable, whatever that takes. I’m not trying to be [Gibbs]. The writers made that distinction.”
It’s interesting he made that note. That there are not plans to make him appear to be more like Gibbs to get fans happy. It’s going to take time.
Cole also said, “Parker isn’t overly chatty, but he is more verbal. He’s not as old school; he tries to get his hands on new tech gadgets and impress everybody. He’s trying to fit in with the rest of the team. Although he may be reluctant to voice it, he admires that Gibbs breaks rules. Parker bends them. We’ll see if it gets to the point of breaking.”
It’s interesting that he notes the key differences between Gibbs and Parker here. He wants to fit in, but he has a different way of going about it. He is not going to be like Gibbs and break the rules. He’s a different character. We’re all curious when he becomes less of a background figure and more of a leader on the team, though. The easiest way to move past the Gibbs era is for Parker to take hold of it by becoming the kind of character folks latch onto.
Again, this just takes time and as we can see with the title screens still mentioning Harmon, fans are not ready to move on Gibbs just yet, so it’s on Cole and the writers to get them to the next stage of their fandom.