‘NCIS’ Fans Suspect Mark Harmon’s Gibbs May Be Coming Back for This Reason

by Suzanne Halliburton
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NCIS fans can be a testy bunch when it comes to their favorite character. Mark Harmon’s Gibbs left the show nearly two months ago, but folks are convinced he’ll make another appearance.

Why?

Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs still is the first character in the NCIS intro. CBS added Gary Cole, who plays Alden Parker, to the end of the intro, but never deleted Harmon (we ask, who could really delete Gibbs.)

To refresh your memory, here’s the opening:

Technically, Harmon still is with the show. Although as IMDb observes, the last four episodes Harmon received a “credit only” appearance.

“Mark Harmon will come back for an episode sometime this season I bet,” an NCIS fan tweeted. “He’s still in the opening credits and does the ‘Stay tuned…'” Another fan replied: “Also, he’s left and come back multiple times.”

Plus, a week before Thanksgiving, the NCIS Instagram account posted a video clip featuring both Harmon and Cole from an earlier episode in season 19. Why do that if Gibbs isn’t going to make another appearance?

In an interview with TV Line last month, Kelly Kahl, CBS entertainment president, talked up both Harmon and Cole.

“Gary Cole is amazing,” Kahl said. “You don’t replace a Mark Harmon, but I really can’t think of any show that has done as great a job replacing really major characters over the years, and really staying top of mind for viewers. You talk about somebody stepping up almost seamlessly into a role, and Gary Cole is the best.”

NCIS introduced Cole’s character at the beginning of season 19. At the time, he was an FBI agent. But the FBI fired Parker when he didn’t arrest Gibbs in Alaska. NCIS Director Leon Vance then hired Parker. Cole has been in charge since episode five, Face the Strange.

Even without Harmon, NCIS continues to dominate Monday nights for non-sports shows. A few folks fled the show after Harmon left, but the damage appears limited.

The Monday night episode drew an audience of 7.2 million. Meanwhile, The Voice was watched by 6.3 million.

NCIS ended a three-week hiatus with the Peacekeeper episode. The audience was a season-low, but the drop wasn’t substantial. In contrast, the Nov. 9 episode, featuring guest star Patricia Richardson of Home Improvement fame, attracted 7.32 million.

Next Monday’s episode offers a unique plot twist. Agents will investigate the death of a financial advisor. On the surface, that crime sounds mundane. But they’ll interview the victim’s three-dimensional hologram of herself. The character created the hologram before she died.

Stepfanie Kramer portrays financial advisor Sandra Holdren. Her name may sound familiar. Kramer played a homicide detective in the 1980s-era crime procedural, Hunter. That’s the show featuring former Los Angeles Rams defensive end Fred Dryer. Kramer portrayed Dee Dee McCall. The series ran from 1984 until 1991. And it spawned several reunion movies as well as a reboot.

Stick with Outsider for more news about NCIS. We’ll let you know if Gibbs sneaks back in for an appearance.

Outsider.com