“NCIS” is a police procedural television show that has held people on lockdown for many years. This American television show combines police procedural genres and military drama elements and follows a team of special agents from the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigation Service).
The show’s concept and characters were introduced in episodes 20 and 21 of season eight of “JAG,” the CBS series, as a spinoff. This series has had top ratings and held the interest of so many people with its interesting storyline, absolute commitment to detail, and likable characters for 19 seasons.
The newest development in the show is that one of its longest-running stars, Mark Harmon, is leaving NCIS. Harmon played the role of Gibbs, a former U.S Marine Corps sniper who became a special agent and commanded a team under the NCIS.
He was a character the fans loved, so the question is, how will the show go on without him?
Harmon Has Been There Since The Beginning
Before Harmon joined NCIS in 2003, he was already a popular actor in the industry because of his roles as strict, no bulls*** taking figures of authority, much like his character Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Gibbs was one of the first characters on the show as far back as when it was introduced in “JAG,” and has been a regular face ever since.
Other characters joined Harmon at some point, but his character has managed to stay relevant to the fans, and the show constantly reminds fans what the team stands for. He is also an executive producer of the show and has been a key figure in the show’s success.
However, there were recent reports that Harmon could be leaving his much-loved character in NCIS, and in late 2021, the showrunners confirmed this. Harmon initially planned on retiring in the 18th season but found out that CBS could end the show if he did, so he signed on to stay for a few more episodes in the newest season.
Gibbs Might Come Back
The 1904th episode titled “The Great Wilde” saw Harmon ending his role in the police procedural when his character, Gibbs, opted out of a future in law enforcement to stay back in Alaska.
Though Harmon is leaving, executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder has left the door open for Gibbs to return in the future. The showrunner broke the news through the New York Post.
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“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show,” Binder said.
“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.”
How Gibbs Left The Show
During the “Great Wilde Open,” Gibbs turns rogue after his suspension from the squad and secretly partners with Timothy McGee to solve the murders related to a sacred land in Alaska used for corporate mining.
The episode contained flashbacks of Gibbs giving parting advice to his former team members before his trip to Alaska.
When McGee got ready to go home, Gibbs refused to go back to Washington D.C and insisted on staying in Alaska at the end of the episode.
“I’m not going back home,” he said McGee while fishing in a lake the plane was waiting for them. “This sense of peace, I have not had this since Shannon and Kelly died.”
Gibbs lost Shannon, his wife, and daughter Kelly when they were killed by a cartel member in the third season of the series, and this took a toll on him. They were killed by Pedro Hernandez (Thomas Rosales Jr.) because she was getting ready to testify against him.
Will ‘NCIS’ Survive Without Gibbs?
One of the questions on everyone’s minds is if NCIS can survive without Harmon as one of its leading men, and based on how other shows in its position have faired, it just might.
A police procedural series that was in a similar situation but came out just fine is “Law & Order: SUV.”
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This series was one of the most popular and longest-running shows but lost its lead character, Elliot Stabler, played by Christoper Meloni, in season 12. The writers were able to hold the attention of the fans by giving more screen time to Benson and other characters.
NCIS even faced a similar situation when Ziva and Tony, played by Cote de Pablo and Weatherly, left the show. Still, they persevered by following the desires of their fans, and this situation will not be any different.