‘NCIS’: Mark Harmon Officially Exits Show, Here’s Why He Left

by Madison Miller
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After more than 18 seasons of playing his character Leroy Jethro Gibbs on “NCIS,” Mark Harmon officially said goodbye to his longtime show.

On the Monday, October 11 episode of the show, it was the last time Harmon appeared as the lead of the team and show.

Mark Harmon Says Goodbye to ‘NCIS’ Role

It’s no surprise for fans and viewers of “NCIS.” There have been previous reports regarding when and how Harmon will exit for months now. For the current 19th season of the show, Harmon only signed on for a limited capacity instead of his normal full-time gig.

It was only a matter of time until Gibbs would slowly slip away. Apparently, Harmon’s contract was up right before season 19. He was going to step away, however, he found out that the show would likely be canceled if he did so. This is why he decided to sign that partial contract instead.

Since then, “NCIS” has really had fans worrying about the safety and security of Gibbs. He’s had plenty of near-death experiences and the show has also hinted eerily at his death. During the season 18 finale, Gibbs nearly died in a massive boat explosion.

Besides possible death, Gibbs has been away from his job at “NCIS” since last season. He was still tracking a serial killer but was not technically wearing the badge. Fans were wondering when or if he would officially return.

Now, it’s clear he isn’t. At least not full-time. He told Special Agent Timothy McGee (played by Sean Murray) that “I’m not going back home.” Now, Gibbs remains in Alaska. The two were there to track down a hitman.

Possible Return of Gibbs in the Future

Although Harmon is saying goodbye, it may not be a permanent goodbye. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS is leaving the door open for their dear friend Mark Harmon. He will also still be a producer on the program.

“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 long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years … never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” Steven D. Binder, the show’s executive producer and showrunner, said.

As for the rest of the season, “NCIS” secured plenty of full-time characters to keep the story world intact. Sean Murray, Brian Dietzen, Rocky Carroll, David McCallum, Wilmer Valderrama, and Diona Reasonover are all still a part of the show.

Gary Cole and Katrina Law were added as regulars for this season. Now, it’ll be interesting how the characters adapt to not having Gibbs around. Who will be in control now?

Outsider.com