‘NCIS’: How Mark Harmon’s Athletic Background Impacted His Time on Show, According to Producers

by Leanne Stahulak
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While many fans know Mark Harmon as the star of “NCIS,” a good number also recognize him as the star UCLA quarterback from the early 1970s.

And like any good quarterback, Harmon adopted a team mentality throughout his life. Including in his professional life, as an actor. Outsider recently sat in on a Q&A with “NCIS” supervising producer Richie Owens, who talked about Harmon’s overall relationship with the cast and crew.

Owens graduated from Miami University in 1995, and after working on a few different film and television projects, he soon joined “NCIS” in 2003. Since then, Owens has gotten close with Harmon and the rest of the cast.

When the interviewer asked whether the “NCIS” star ever brought a “competitive” or “winner’s” mentality to the show, Owens said that Harmon really focused on the team aspect instead.

“I see that he sees us as a team, the cast and crew as a team. And a family,” Owens explained. “And after 19 seasons, it really is that. We all know each other really, really well. And we’re all family, and yet we’re professional at the same time. But you know, you can’t spend 20 years with people and not grow close.”

Even outside of the core cast, Owens said that Harmon is gracious with everybody on set. He never tries to throw around his stardom or fame, the “NCIS” producer said.

“Oh, no, he’s the first guy to welcome guest cast when they come in,” Owens revealed. “He’s the first guy to welcome them. He makes them a coffee, he brings them a water. Yeah, it’s extraordinary.”

We’d expect nothing less from an incredible leader and team player. It just makes Harmon’s absence on the show all the harder to bear.

Fans Fight for Mark Harmon’s Return on ‘NCIS’

Mark Harmon left “NCIS” earlier this season for unknown reasons. But with his absence, the show tried to write Gary Cole’s character, Alden Parker, into the huge shoes left by Harmon’s character Gibbs. And a recent social media post by the show only reminded fans how much they miss the OG squad leader.

The official “NCIS” Instagram account posted a photo of Cole, Wilmer Valderrama, Katrina Law, and Sean Murray in the squad room. The caption claimed that “The gang’s all here,” but fans quickly pointed out that the gang was not, in fact, all there.

“No the gang is not all here. You are missing the leader that is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Stop retconning Gibbs’ existence! BRING GIBBS BACK!” one fan commented on the post.

Another person wrote, “Who is that man in Gibbs chair?? He isn’t allowed to sit there.”

“No Gibbs. I’m out,” someone else said.

We’ll have to wait and see if Gibbs makes a return appearance this season on “NCIS.”

Outsider.com