Mark Harmon’s Leroy Gibbs better watch his back. Because as Gary Cole’s “Talladega Nights” character once famously declared, “If you’re not first then you’re last.” Well now, the actor is joining “NCIS” in Season 19 as Alden Park. Could he be aiming for Gibbs’ job as the team’s leader?
Only time will tell but the upcoming season of “NCIS” is already rife with speculation. It’s been heavily rumored that Harmon will be taking a step back from the show. Initially, reports claimed Harmon was on his way out after 18 years on the show. But the network threatened to pull the plug on “NCIS” altogether if Harmon made his bow.
The actor chose to stay on “NCIS” to avoid giving the long-running program an undignified cancelation. Instead, Harmon will reportedly be appearing in a reduced capacity for the upcoming season. The Season 18 finale set up Gibbs going off into the blue yonder. With the NCIS mainstay surviving an attempt on his life or possibly faking his own death, NCIS is without a commander.
So who will be the voice of reason on the show? Cue, Gary Cole’s Alden Park. Cole will be making the jump to the show for the first time during its Season 19. Viewers will get a look at Cole in the role for the first time when the show premieres. But from the sound of things, Cole’s character will be a bit of an outsider unlike Harmon’s Gibbs.
Gary Cole on ‘NCIS’
Gary Cole will play a FBI Special Agent on the show. It’s not hard to see Cole’s character butting heads with the rest of the NCIS team. Maybe, an antagonistic relationship will turn friendly and the season will end with Cole at the helm of the team?
Producers have tried to calm fans’ fears that Cole is replacing Harmon on the show. More recently, a trailer for “NCIS” put Harmon front and center where he belongs. But is that a solid indicator of Gibbs having a larger role than previously reported? Or just smoke and mirrors for marketing.
Showrunner Steven D. Binder certainly seems excited for the coming season. Additionally, Katrina Law will be returning to the show, this time as a series regular. The coming season promises to be one of change for “NCIS” as a brand.
“With the addition of Gary Cole and Katrina Law to the cast, this is already shaping up to be one of the best seasons yet,” Binder said via Express. “Going into Season 19, we are excited to have new characters and stories to tell that adds to and re-energizes the world we’ve come to love over the 400-plus episodes.”
It will be interesting to see if Cole and Harmon end up crossing paths during the season.