Mark Harmon Exits ‘NCIS’ After More Than 18 Seasons; Showrunner Steve Binder Pays Tribute

Entertainment

Deadline 11 October, 2021 - 10:34pm

Is Gibbs out of NCIS?

Tonight, Mark Harmon said goodbye to his role as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, and it is an episode full of moments that brought tears to the eyes of viewers as they said goodbye to this longtime TV favorite character. Of course, it may not be the last we ever see of him. ParadeNCIS Shocker: Mark Harmon Says Goodbye to His Role as Gibbs on Tonight's Episode (2021)

Is Harmon leaving NCIS?

Monday's episode of NCIS was Mark Harmon's final one as the lead of the long-running CBS procedural. He exits the show after 18 years of playing Gibbs, dating back to the character's introduction on JAG in 2003. ... “I'm not going back, Tim,” Gibbs told Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray). “I'm not going back home.” Hollywood Reporter‘NCIS’ Says Goodbye to Mark Harmon After 18 Years

'NCIS' Fans Are In Hysterics Over the Epic Move Gibbs Pulled on Park in Season 19 Clip

Yahoo Lifestyle 12 October, 2021 - 05:20am

With that declaration from Gibbs, made while peacefully casting a line into an Alaskan bay, CBS’ NCIS this Tuesday night announced series lead Mark Harmon’s exit after more than 18 seasons.

Harmon reportedly was ready to hang up Gibbs’ cap after last season, but learned that if he did so, CBS might not renew NCIS at all. As such, he agreed to return in a limited capacity. TVLine later reported that Harmon was expected back for only “a few” episodes.

Sure enough, in but the fourth episode of Season 19 — after he, McGee et al solved the case of a contract killer hired by a conglomerate to clear the way for an environment-poisoning copper mine — Gibbs decided not to take back his badge, gun and job, when offered by Director Vance, but stay put in “the middle of nowhere,” in Alaska, where this multi-episode arc had most recently led him.

NCIS showrunner Steve Binder said in a statement, “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.”

SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains details from the October 11 episode of NCIS. On Monday night, NCIS star Mark Harmon ended his run as a series regular on CBS’ long-running procedural drama, with his character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, opting out of a future in law enforcement. Episode 1904, “Great Wide Open,” saw Gibbs […]

The following contains major spoilers from the Oct. 11 episode of NCIS. Something huge happened this week on CBS’ NCIS. OK, two things.First and foremost, as detailed here, the Oct. 11 episode of TV’s most watched drama marked the end of series lead Mark Harmon’s full-time run. But along the way, something else major happened: […]

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*Sits in stunned silence while the end credits play*View Entire Post ›

‘NCIS’ Says Goodbye to Leroy Jethro Gibbs & Mark Harmon After 19 Seasons

TV Insider 12 October, 2021 - 05:20am

NCIS just aired the biggest episode of the series, answering the question fans have been wondering about all summer: How much is Mark Harmon going to be in Season 19?

In “Great Wide Open,” Gibbs (Harmon) and McGee (Sean Murray) head to Alaska as part of the investigation into the company that hired hitman Paul Lemere (Jason Wiles), Sonova, to take out anyone who could block them building a copper mine. With their work there and the others on the case back home, they find proof that Sonova’s CEO Sonia Eberhart (Valarie Pettiford) is behind it, working with the husband of one of the victims (he was in it for the money). But to McGee’s surprise, Gibbs drops a bombshell on him as he readies to head home: He’s not going with him. He does’t want his badge back. Gibbs stays in Alaska! Mark Harmon just left NCIS!

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show,” executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder said in a statement. “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.”

Gibbs’ exit is foreshadowed pretty much from the first scene of the episode. When FBI Special Agent Parker (Gary Cole) leads a team into Gibbs’ house to arrest him (for stealing a government vehicle and kidnapping a suspect who later died under mysterious circumstances), he sees the giant hole in a wall in the basement. “Something tells me he’s not coming back,” he says. (Parker later listens to McGee’s pleas to not arrest Gibbs and is fired for his actions since his boss wanted the suspended agent to pay for his actions. How soon before he gets an NCIS badge?)

“Great Wide Open” then plays like a farewell tour for Gibbs, all with a through-line: He is not OK, and he hasn’t been since he lost his wife and daughter. It even comes up when he speaks with one of the victims’ fathers. “The pain never leaves your heart, but neither will she,” Gibbs says. How does he get through the day? “Some days I don’t,” Gibbs admits.

While he is already in Alaska when the episode begins, flashbacks show him saying goodbye to the others (though we wish Brian Dietzen’s Palmer and Diona Reasonover’s Kasie got moments, too). “It had a good run,” Vance (Rocky Carroll) says after Gibbs puts his phone in coffee so Parker can’t track it. (So did he.) “I wanted to say thank you, Leon, for everything,” Gibbs tells his former boss before walking away.

Ducky (David McCallum) finds him on his away to the airport and notes just how much he’s endured in the last six months (Jack and Bishop leaving, the assault, arrest and suspension, and his boat blowing up). “Milestone events such as these stack up on each other and build internal pressure,” he explains. “It happens to anyone, even you.” And while he’d like to hear Gibbs tell him “there’s nothing to worry about, Duck,” neither believes it.

“You’re right. Lately, I’ve been searching,” Gibbs confesses. “I don’t know what I’m looking for. I know being alone without the job, that was hard.” But coming back is “even harder.” Before he leaves, he makes sure Ducky knows, “you are a great friend. I appreciate you more than you know.” It’s rightfully the most emotional scene of the episode, given the characters’ long history.

He then has Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) drive him to the airport, and after laughing about how Gibbs got his boat out of the basement (and some of the theories), the conversation turns to how both are doing. “I’m doing good,” Torres says, before amending to, “I’m getting by. Some days are better than others. I’ll be fine.” Gibbs has some advice for him: “You are a hell of an agent, Nick. Got instincts that don’t come along often. More often, you are a good man. Do me a favor, though. Don’t let this job become all that there is. You take care of you.”

And so it ends with Gibbs and the agent he’s watched grow from a probie to senior field agent to team leader. “You’re getting there. You just gotta find your rhythm,” Gibbs tells McGee, and he’s clearly talking about more than the fishing they’re doing in Alaska. “Be patient. It’s about progress, not perfection. Once you know the basics, the rest just comes from inside.”

It’s not until McGee’s loaded his bags on the plane that Gibbs tells him he’s not going home. He’s “never been better,” he says, and he doesn’t have another boat left to build. (He did see one at the docks earlier that clearly needs a lot of work done.) “We’ll find you another hobby,” McGee says, obviously not ready to say goodbye. “I’m not looking for a hobby,” Gibbs tells him.

So what is he looking for? “My gut’s telling me I’ll know when I find it,” Gibbs says, and while he doesn’t know if he’ll find it there in Alaska, “whatever I’m feeling, this sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died, and I’m not ready to let it go.”

And so comes time for the second most emotional goodbye, with McGee teary-eyed and Gibbs looking like he has found that peace he mentions. “I could not have hoped for anyone better to watch my back for the past 18 years than you, Tim,” Gibbs says. After a hug and “I love yous,” McGee makes Gibbs promise him he’s going to be OK. “I already am,” Gibbs says, and with that, McGee leaves.

And NCIS says goodbye to Mark Harmon and Gibbs — for now, we hope. It’s hard to imagine the series ending (whenever it does) without him returning. And to be honest, we’re not quite sure how we feel right now. But how do you feel? Let us know in the comments below.

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Mark Harmon Exits 'NCIS' in Season 19

Entertainment Tonight 11 October, 2021 - 09:00pm

Mark Harmon's time on NCIS has come to an end.

On Monday's episode of CBS' long-running procedural, the longtime star has exited the series after more than 18 seasons. Harmon's reduced presence and potential exit had been speculated ever since the drama was picked up for a 19th season.

How did NCIS write him out? With Harmon's Leroy Jethro Gibbs no longer with a warrant out for his arrest, the former NCIS head technically could return to work. But, as NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) revealed to Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Jessica Knight (Katrina Law), he simply could not convince Gibbs to take back his badge. "He doesn't want it," Vance simply said.

Meanwhile, Gibbs broke the news to Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) -- while out on a fishing trip at the lake -- that he wasn't coming back. "I'm not going back there," Gibbs told McGee as he continued to fish. "To work?" McGee asked. "That too. I'm not going back home," Gibbs replied, acknowledging that he's "not sure" how long he's going to be gone. When McGee started to panic and tell his mentor that they're "50 miles from anyone or anything," Gibbs simply said, "Not a bad thing."

"My gut's telling me, I'll know when I find it," Gibbs answered. "This sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died and I'm not ready to let it go." When it became clear to McGee that his old boss was set on beginning a new chapter, Gibbs offered his mentee the reins. "I could not have hoped for anyone better to watch my back for the past 18 years than you," he said, pulling him into an emotional hug. 

"Promise me you're going to be OK," McGee said, tears in his eyes. "I already am," Gibbs promised as the two parted ways for good.

With Monday's installment marking Harmon's departure from NCIS, the franchise turns over a new leaf. But the door was left open for a potential return down the line.

“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," executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder said in a statement. "So regarding the future of Gibbs, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.” 

The series also stars Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover, David McCallum and Gary Cole.

NCIS airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. For more, watch below.

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