Want to know why lead star Mark Harmon Left NCIS? Iconic hit series NCIS has been credited for being CBS’ longest-running scripted primetime series and has gone on to expand its franchise as it has spawned other long-running series, including NCIS: Los Angeles, freshman series NCIS: Hawai’i, along with the recently departed spin-off NCIS: New Orleans.
Believe it or not, the original series itself was a spin-off of JAG, which ran for a long while from 1995 to 2005. The franchise revolves around the lives and adventures of federal special agents as they navigate life through felony crimes while also protecting secrets for the Navy and Marine Corps. In one of the series, lead actor Mark Harmon played the character of Leroy Jethro Gibbs starting in 2003 and soon became a fan-favorite character.
However, the actor’s name was surprisingly missing from the opening credit of the season 20 premiere finally, as the show’s opening credits now start with Sean Murray, who plays McGee, that was followed by the other costars. Let us take a look at all the details and lesser-known facts to know why Mark Harmon Left NCIS.
Why Did Mark Harmon Left NCIS?
While no specific reason was provided for the lead star’s departure from the long-running series, later actor Mark Harmon who portrayed the role for almost two decades, gave open up about it. As per the actor, the fresh and challenging material was what inspired him to stay on the show, but it seems like this was not the case after a while.
After Harmon’s departure from the series gave way to fans speculating about it, the actor has finally explained that while he always looked out for opportunities to what he described as fresh and challenging material is what made him return to the drama every season, which might have implied to the possibility that the actor might felt that after almost two decades on the show, that was no longer the case.
Also read: NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 3 Release Date & Streaming Guide: The Body Stitchers.
Where Is Leroy Gibbs Now In NCIS?
While fans were taken back by surprise and were heartbroken to see the beloved character bid his farewell to the series, Mark finally bid his goodbyes in the fourth episode of season 19, as the actor ended his 18-year run as the lead of the action drama series.
The farewell of the character was well written, with his character living his life away from law enforcement while spending a peaceful life in Alaska, where his last case had led him. The team is here with brand-new episodes. Have a look at the social media post given below.
Gather ‘round, this team’s got some work to do. #NCIS is all-new Monday at 9/8c, you won’t want to miss it. pic.twitter.com/YDYBL2rh4a
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) October 22, 2022
Actor Mark Harmon cleared the air about the fact that his beloved character is “not retired.” Mark did reveal how his NCIS character is living in Alaska as far as he knows. Harmon admitted that he was happy with how things were handled while explaining that, Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did, and he thinks that was honest, and he was okay with it.
Showrunner Hints At Mark Harmon’s Return?
While Mark’s onscreen departure has left fans shocked, series showrunner Steve Binder has further released a statement that might have implied that Gibbs could make a comeback in future seasons of the long-running series.
As the statement reads, how an executive producer and dear friend, Mark, continues to be a prime part of the fabric of the show while calling him the north star has always been staying true to their characters, and that truth has always guided the stories they tell and where those characters go.
The showrunner further stated that regarding the future of Gibbs, long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years, while concluding that never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.
Even CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said something similar as to how everyone is aware that the door is open if Harmon ever wants to make an appearance for an episode or multiple episodes. Fans are eagerly waiting for the actor to make a surprise return!