‘NCIS’: There’s a Good Chance We Haven’t Seen the Last of Mark Harmon as Gibbs

by Madison Miller

On Monday night, fans said goodbye to a beloved TV character — Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He was played by Mark Harmon for 19 seasons, starting during a backdoor pilot on “JAG” in 2003.

He’s been the fearless leader of the team for years. He’s seen different team members come and go, or die, but has always stuck around. Now, it’s time for him to go. However, does that mean we’ll never see Gibbs ever again?

Although Mark Harmon has stepped away from his onscreen role as Gibbs, he’s not going too far. For starters, he will remain an executive producer of “NCIS.” This means that at any given time he could work to place himself back into the program for whatever reason.

Mark Harmon’s decision to leave the show is far from a surprise. Fans knew that he signed onto the 19th season of the series in a part-time role. It was really a matter of when he would leave, not if. He was adamant about keeping his final episode a secret from fans on social media. That final episode for Harmon was filmed in Bristol Bay, Alaska over the course of five days.

Mark Harmon is Staying Close to ‘NCIS’

According to ET Online, Harmon’s Airstream trailer is going to stay on the set of “NCIS” in Valencia, California. You know, just in case. A source told the news outlet that the goodbye maybe shouldn’t be seen as entirely concrete. Apparently, the door is left wide open for Harmon and Gibbs to return to the show if it seems appropriate. It was not a formal send-off of his character.

It doesn’t seem like Mark Harmon, who is 70, left to retire in any sense. He owns his very own production company called Wings Production and is working on several projects there.

This could potentially make “NCIS” fans more optimistic about a return in the future if he doesn’t retire. Even the showrunner and executive producer, Steven D. Binder, spoke out about what Gibbs’ exit means to the integrity of the beloved franchise.

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So regarding the future of Gibbs, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” Binder said.

So, we may not have seen the last of Gibbs after all.

We certainly haven’t seen the last of “NCIS,” either. The show is still in full swing of its 19th season. It continues to air on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. The show will feature familiar cast members like Sean Murray, David McCallum, Rocky Carroll, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Diona Reasonover, Katrina Law, and Gary Cole.