As with any show that's been on the air for as long as NCIS, there are frequent rumors about beloved cast members moving on to other projects after spending over a decade on air. The series just recently said goodbye to Maria Bello's Jack Sloane, and now there are rumors that Bishop is on her way out due to the newest cast member's arrival.
But many fans are concerned, however, with protagonist Leroy Jethro Gibbs — played by Mark Harmon — leaving the cast of characters. So is there any truth to the rumors that Mark is going to leave NCIS?
Is Mark Harmon leaving 'NCIS'?
As fans recall, Season 18 has been a tumultuous one for both Gibbs and the actor who brings him to life. On screen, he faced suspension after attacking an animal abuser. Off screen, Mark Harmon was reportedly considering leaving until he was informed that the show would not continue without him.
Fans were left thinking that Gibbs was leaving and that NCIS, which is currently the most-watched drama series on TV, would come to an end after Season 18. Thankfully, Mark seems to love the series just as much as fans do. He opted to continue contract negotiations and, as of April 2021, CBS had renewed NCIS for its 19th season, with Mark still onboard.
Mark had previously said that he would continue on with the show until the writers were out of ideas. "I've always thought if there's ever a time where the writers are walking into the room and going 'I don't know what to do,' then I think we all have to look at each other and call it a day. But we're not there yet," he told People in 2019. "We're doing better ratings this year than last, which for a show of this age is sort of remarkable."
"I've been around long enough to know what this is. That commitment is part of what I signed up for; I know when this show ends, that's it — there won't be anything else like this for me," he said, which seems to solidify that Mark is in it for the long haul.
While we know that Mark will be back for Season 19, the only thing that remains uncertain is to what capacity. NCIS has managed to continue to include Gibbs in storylines throughout his suspension, but can that continue for an entire season or more? Will Gibbs' presence on the show diminish over time? Or will we see Gibbs return to the team for the new season?
We'll have to just watch and find out. NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.