NCIS Will Release 450 Episodes This Week. Of course, This Means That The Showrunner Is Being Asked About The Possible Return of Gibbs Mark Harmon.
Amid all the too-early cancellations and projects postponed mid-production, CBS’ longtime NCIS apparently shows no signs of prime-time fatigue more than a year after its former star Mark Harmon made his much-publicized departure as Leroy Gibbs. The spin-off drama celebrates a rare hallmark-reaching 450 episodes in Monday night’s release, which naturally means the showrunner has been tasked with considering a stoic Gibbs comeback in some form, shape or form.
Season 20 began last September with a major blow to viewers who had hoped for Gibbs’ return, as his newly revised opening credits sequence put Mark Harmon out of contention after he had stayed in the mix for the previous season. Despite this, showrunner Stephen D. Binder was asked about the actor’s potential to return at least once more before the flagship drama is finished for good. Here’s how he responded, according to TV Insider:
I don’t understand how we won’t see him again at some point. Gibbs, in my opinion, has moved to a higher plane of existence at the moment — I don’t want to place him in an apartment in Anchorage or anywhere else. We left him smiling on the river happy, and that’s the image I want people to have until we’re really ready to throw it out of the water or really accept it in some way.
The NCIS creative team wisely decided to send Gibbs into the sunset without a fatal outcome, which not only allowed him to appear in the future, but also allowed him to avoid what would probably have caused a strong negative reaction from fans. The character was sent to Alaska with McGee, where he decided to hold out rather than return to Washington, DC. a character who is under prolonged stress is a new environment, a new life and a newfound peace of mind.
Thus, the character’s return to the fold so soon risks devaluing his decision to leave his agent duties behind. It may not matter much to the average fan who doesn’t care how it happens at all, as long as it happens. But for everyone involved in organizing this exit, from Stephen D. Binder to Mark Harmon himself, it will probably take a big and unexpectedly significant idea to convince them to either bring Gibbs back from the Last Frontier or send the team up. Alaska.
Not someone who spends a lot of time participating in press interviews, Mark Harmon has been more or less silent about leaving NCIS since it happened, talking about it in general terms for the DVD set of the show’s 19th season, but not so much anywhere else. Perhaps this is done in order to avoid the negative publicity that arose a few years ago when his former co-star Paulie Perrett shared shocking accusations against the actor and others after she decided to leave the CBS drama. Of course, he may just not like giving interviews.
Speaking of Perrette, NCIS fans also wondered if Abby Sciuto would ever be able to return, as Binder previously shared the creative team’s desire to refer to Abby more through the conversations of other characters. So far, there has been no sign of either her or Michael Weatherly’s former agent Tony DiNozzo, but hopefully we won’t have to wait until the 500th episode to see how that happens.