Though NCIS fans have been guessing for weeks, last night’s episode confirmed Mark Harmon’s departure from the program. Harmon has faithfully played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs for nearly 18 seasons. In the most recent episode, “Great White Open,” Gibbs informed his companion that he would not be returning home. Instead, he appeared to be abandoning his long-standing law enforcement profession in favor of a life in Alaska.
Mark Harmon has departed the cast of ‘NCIS,’ but will continue to serve as an executive producer.
Naturally, many people were taken aback when Harmon announced his departure from the NCIS cast. For many years, he and his character have been essential to the fabric of the show. However, the actor isn’t abandoning the show entirely. Harmon has not only contributed as an actor to the hit series, but he has also acted as an executive producer. While the actor has left the cast as a series regular, he will continue to contribute to the show’s success as an EP.
The ‘NCIS’ showrunner has issued a statement hinting to a possible return.
NCIS fans may be disappointed that Harmon will no longer be a series regular. It’s possible, however, that they haven’t seen the last of Agent Gibbs. Harmon is likely to return to the show as a guest star and appear in a few episodes in the future. In fact, showrunner Steve Binder’s statement following Harmon’s departure seemed to imply just that.
“As an executive producer and good friend, Mark remains a vital part of the show’s fabric,” Binder said in a statement. “Staying loyal to our characters has always been our north star, and that truth has always driven the stories we create and where those characters go.” So, in terms of Gibbs’ future, as long-time viewers of the program may have noted over the years…never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”
In future seasons, Harmon could reprise his role as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
While Harmon has not announced that he will return to NCIS in some form, the powers-that-be appear optimistic that Agent Gibbs has not sung his final swan song. When D3adline met with Kelly Kahl, President of CBS Entertainment, he felt sure that Harmon would remain a part of the cast indefinitely.
“Mark has always been a part of the program, and Mark will always be a part of the show,” Kahl said. “In terms of his on-air appearances, we’ll just have to see how that plays out in the future.” These words are obviously encouraging for NCIS fans who are still suffering from Harmon’s departure. It will be fascinating to watch how the program handles his exit from here. However, if Harmon choose to rejoin the cast in the future, the door appears to be wide open.