‘NCIS’ Renewed for 19th Season: Will Fan-Favorite Character Return?

by Suzanne Halliburton
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CBS renewed NCIS for a 19th season, Thursday. The show is the network’s highest-rated drama, it seemed a given the show would return.

But now, fans are pondering whether a beloved character will come back to the show.

First, some background. Mark Harmon, the star who has been with the show for all 18 seasons, likely will return for a 19th. That’s according to Deadline. There was much speculation that Harmon would leave the show or ask for a reduced role. Harmon plays Leroy Gibbs. And Gibbs commands the team with the Naval Criminal Investigative Services based in Washington, D.C.

This NCIS show is the longest-running of the franchise. It also has spinoffs in Los Angeles and New Orleans with plans of an NCIS-Hawaii series. The New Orleans show, which stars Scott Bakula, is ending its seven-year run next month.

With NCIS Future More In Focus, Will Bello Return?

Earlier in the season, NCIS lost a major character in Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane. Actress Maria Bello played Sloane. This was her fourth season as a cast regular. But Bello as Sloane departed the show. She didn’t die. But an episode in March was her send-off. The character decided to stay in Afghanistan to do humanitarian work.

Bello finished filming with NCIS in December. She said she left the show to be with her fiancée, Dominque Creen, who’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. Bello acknowledged her departure with a sweet note on Instagram. And in the photo she posted, she was hugging Mark Harmon.

 “I understand why this show after 18 years is the most-watched in the world – you must all feel our love,” she wrote. “Keep watching. I have a feeling there will be many more years to come. Thank you to all of my pals at NCIS and to all of our fans. I am truly grateful.”

LOS ANGELES – DECEMBER 3: True Believer When Sloanes name is discovered in Afghanistan at the site of an abandoned bus with a dead driver, Gibbs accompanies her on a trip to find a group of girls who were kidnapped from the bus. Also, McGee, Bishop and Torres track down a hacker who emailed compromising information to the Taliban, on NCIS, Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.Pictured: Maria Bello as NCIS Special Agent Jaqueline Jack Sloane, Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. (Photo by Patrick Wymore/CBS via Getty Images)

Would Bello Even Be Available To Return?

Could Bello return now that there are more answers about the show’s future? She was a love interest for Gibbs. When Jack Sloan decided to stay in Afghanistan, she and Gibbs shared a passionate good-bye kiss.

Bello told TVInsider she has other projects lined up.

“I’ve had this commitment for years to make a movie, The Woman King, with Viola Davis,” Bello said. “It’s a female Braveheart based on 5,000 women warriors in [the 18th- and 19th-century African kingdom of] Dahomey, modern-day Benin. The French said they were the biggest badasses they’d ever fought.”

Mark Harmon’s Real-Life Wife Now Is On the Show

Here’s also an interesting twist. NCIS added a character for a four-episode arc, which started last week. The character is Marcie Warren, an investigative reporter played by Pam Dawber. And Dawber is Mark Harmon’s real-life wife. The two have been married since 1987. They have two children together.

Dawber told Entertainment Weekly she accepted the part because “it’s a good storyline.” Harmon and Dawber keep their lives very private and they don’t often work together professionally. It’s probably why their marriage works so well in Hollywood.

Dawber said she already made it clear she didn’t want her NCIS role to reflect her real-life relationship.

“I talked to the writers and the producers before I signed on and said, “If this is a romantic interest, I’m not interested,’ ” Dawber said. “They said not at all, that’s not where we’re going with this.

So, now that there’s a season 19 with Mark Harmon, will Leroy Gibbs get his love interest back?

LOS ANGELES – FEBRUARY 3: Gut Punch Vance assigns McGee, Torres and Bishop to COVID compliance duty at a foreign affairs summit, where they discover a link to another NCIS teams murder case, on NCIS, Tuesday, April 6 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Rocky Carroll directed the episode. Pam Dawber guest stars as investigative journalist Marcie Warren. Pictured: Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Pam Dawber guest stars as Marcie Warren. (Photo by Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images)
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