Is Mark Harmon (Leroy Jethro Gibbs) Leaving NCIS?

NCIS’ is one of the most popular television series on CBS and has been garnering impressive ratings for almost 18 years since its inception in September 2003. The police procedural drama follows the special agents that are part of the Major Case Response Team (MCRT) of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Apart from David McCallum, who plays Donald “Ducky” Mallard, Mark Harmon is the only other actor who has been a part of the show since the very first season. Harmon has been essaying the role of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs for more than 400 episodes.

In the years that the show has been running, there have been multiple occasions when fans thought they would not see Gibbs again, but Gibbs continued to find his way out of sticky situations. However, season 18 has convinced some fans that Harmon might no longer be a part of the series, given how things pan out for Gibbs. Is there any truth to these speculations? Here is what you need to know!

What Happened to Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS?

In episode 10 of season 18, titled ‘Watchdog,’ an investigation leads Gibbs to a person running a dogfighting ring. Gibbs suspects that the man called Luke is responsible for the deaths of many dogs and confronts him. The encounter takes a violent turn as Gibbs loses his patience with Luke and physically attacks him. Following this incident, Gibbs is arrested for aggravated assault but makes things worse when he states that he does not regret his actions. Seeing his attitude towards the incident, the Director of NCIS, Leon Vance, has no option but to suspend Gibbs indefinitely.

We have seen Gibbs go through worse, but what he does next seems to put a nail in the coffin. In the eleventh episode of the season, Gibbs discloses everything in a conversation with an investigative reporter named Marcie Warren. We know that there is no turning back since Gibbs has spoken to the press. This is why the fans are worried that the Special Agent’s career with NCIS may have come to a disappointing end.

Is Mark Harmon Leaving NCIS?

Even though it seems that there is nothing that anyone can do about Gibbs’ indefinite suspension, one cannot be sure if that is it for the character. Moreover, Mark Harmon and CBS have not publicly spoken about the actor’s speculated exit from the series. While there have been several instances in the past when Harmon was rumored to be stepping away from ‘NCIS,’ the actor continued to carry the series on his shoulders. Speaking about the possibility of leaving the show in 2019, Harmon told People that he had “no reason to leave.” He said that he would know it is time to exit only if the writers no longer have any ideas regarding how to take the show forward.

It is worth noting that Mark Harmon’s contract with the show reportedly comes to an end after season 18. Usually, when a contract expires, the actors either renegotiate or choose to exit a show. Over the years, ‘NCIS’ has seen almost all the main cast members leave, and in 2015 Harmon said that anyone is replaceable on the show. Even though it is hard to imagine the series without Gibbs, it looks like his team will have to learn to function without his guidance. As we approach the final episodes of season 18, we may see less and less of Gibbs.

However, some reports suggest that Harmon began a conversation with the network regarding a potential season 19 when he learned that the producers did not want to continue the series without him. It was reported that the actor was willing to do a limited number of episodes if the show returns for its nineteenth installment. With the fate of season 19 up in the air, it is hard to say what will happen and whether Harmon will continue to feature in ‘NCIS.’ Well, nothing can be said with certainty as CBS is yet to make an official announcement regarding the future of the series and Mark Harmon’s involvement in it.

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