Will 'NCIS' Be Back for Another Season?

After Gibbs was recently suspended indefinitely, people are wondering what's in store for 'NCIS' if he is written off. Is 'NCIS' ending in 2021?

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

May 18 2021, Published 8:20 p.m. ET

Gibbs NCIS
Source: CBS

If you're a fan of NCIS, then you know Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) gets arrested in Season 18, Episode 10, "Watchdog." In the episode, Gibbs finds out that Luke (Max Adler) has been abusing dogs and hosting dogfights, so he personally goes after him. 

After pummeling Luke to near oblivion, Luke ends up in the hospital and tries to sue the NCIS for Gibbs' actions. Luckily, the team finds enough evidence to put Luke behind bars, but Gibbs is still suspended for his behavior.

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When asked if he regrets beating up Luke, Gibbs replies, "I do," and follows up with, "I regret I didn't kill him." Vance (Rocky Carroll) has no choice but to put Gibbs on indefinite leave, taking his badge and gun. 

It was a pivotal moment for the show since it seemingly set up actor Mark Harmon's exit from NCIS — as Mark's contract was reportedly ending after this season. But will NCIS go on without Gibbs?

Gibbs being questioned on 'NCIS'
Source: CBS
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It was rumored that 'NCIS' would be ending if Mark Harmon decided to leave.

Although Mark Harmon has reportedly been trying to leave NCIS, he has stayed, in part, due to being told NCIS would get canceled without him. According to CinemaBlend, Mark's contract is up after 18 seasons of leading NCIS, but instead of leaving, he's been in talks with producers to negotiate appearing in a handful of episodes if NCIS is renewed for a 19th season.

As the 18th season comes to an end, we've seen how Mark's role as Gibbs has begun to diminish to make way for new plotlines surrounding the large ensemble that we've come to love. Some have even predicted that Ziva (Cote de Pablo) could be taking over, which would be a really fun twist to keep NCIS going.

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Mark Harmon on the set of 'NCIS'
Source: Instagram

So what's the deal? Is 'NCIS' actually ending?

While NCIS, which is CBS's longest-running show, is still extremely popular, it's expensive to produce. NCIS's ratings for Season 18 have been strong, but they've actually fallen since the previous season. This season averages a .85 rating and pulls in 9.65 million viewers — but that's down 24 percent in ratings and 17 percent in viewership. 

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Despite the drop in viewership, CBS has confirmed that NCIS would be renewed for at least one more season. And it seems like the team is putting their best efforts in place to make sure that the plot stays strong enough to allow for even more future seasons. It'll be a huge risk to run NCIS without Mark at the helm, but the network is hoping it will pay off. It has been confirmed that Mark will be back in Season 19, but in what capacity remains unknown.

Mark Harmon in 'NCIS'
Source: CBS
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It looks like CBS will continue to invest in the successful 'NCIS' spinoff shows.

And while NCIS: New Orleans is ending after seven seasons, NCIS: Los Angeles doesn't have plans on ending any time soon. 

“It has been our sincere pleasure and honor to work on this show and with this incredible cast and crew for over 150 episodes. As disappointed as we are to see NOLA end, we couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done and are grateful to the spectacular and resilient Crescent City that embraced us for seven wonderful years," executive producers Christopher Silber and Jan Nash said.

Moreover, there will soon be another NCIS to watch: NCIS: Hawaii. The series is set to star Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant, the first woman special agent in charge of NCIS: Hawaii.

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'NCIS LA' cast
Source: CBS

It looks like the flagship NCIS will continue its reign after all alongside the spinoffs. Catch new episodes of NCIS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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