‘NCIS’: Is Mark Harmon Returning to the Show in Season 20?

One of the biggest questions that NCIS fans have revolves around the possible return of Mark Harmon to the show. The constant back-and-forth about Leroy Jethro Gibbs probably drives some fans nuts. Right now, Gibbs is living in Alaska.

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In case you did not know, NCIS is CBS’ police procedural drama following the special agents of the Naval Cr***nal Investigation Service’s Major Case Response Team. It’s the United States Navy’s primary federal law enforcement agency. And it investigates criminal activity involving the Navy, the United States Marine Corps, and their families. Harmon played Gibbs, a Supervisory Special Agent at the NCIS, from Seasons 1-19.
‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Could Return To The Show, According To Rocky Carroll

Now, after almost 20 years as a series regular on NCIS, Harmon left the series at the start of season 19. The big question a lot of people are asking is could Gibbs return to NCIS? The answer is maybe. In an interview with TV Insider in January 2023, Rocky Carroll, who plays NCIS Director Leon Vance, hinted that Harmon could return in the future, She Knows reports.

“I think as long as this show stays on the air, there will always be a little bit of a tease that we might see Gibbs again,” Carroll said. “First time I saw an episode of this show, I said, oh, it’s Gary Cooper from High Noon. Gibbs is the moral compass. He’s the moral compass that we all wish we had.”

Gibbs left NCIS in Season 19’s fourth episode. It saw Gibbs and NCIS Senior Field Agent Timothy McGee, played by Sean Murray, travel to Alaska for a case. That’s when Gibbs decides to stay instead of returning to Washington, D.C. “My gut’s telling me, I’ll know when I find it,” Gibbs told McGee of what he was looking for in his life. “This sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died and I’m not ready to let it go.”
Harmon Admits That Gibbs Is Not Retired From His Work

Harmon, in a special featurette for the NCIS season 19 DVD, hinted that Gibbs was purposely written out of NCIS in a way that doesn’t k**l him off so he could return. “I’m not retired… The character is living in Alaska as far as I know,” he said.

In a statement to Entertainment Tonight after Harmon’s exit in October 2021, NCIS executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder also hinted at Gibbs’ return in future seasons. “So regarding the future of Gibbs, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”

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