The news had been circulating for months, but we had decided to let it go because of the thought of seeing NCIS without Mark Harmon it was very similar to the prospect of eating a chocolate without the filling. Yet the prophecy came true and, after 18 seasons, Leroy Jethro Gibbs has officially left the scene. It happened in the fourth episode of the nineteenth season of NCIS aired on CBS, when Gibbs told Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) at the end of an Alaskan case that he would be out indefinitely. The embrace between Gibbs and McGee before the credits has, in fact, put an end to a television chapter that has lasted almost twenty years that viewers will have a hard time metabolizing to the end.
At the moment it is not clear if Harmon’s is in effect a goodbye, and therefore if there may be the possibility of seeing him again in the future. In an interview with Deadline some time ago, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl, regarding Harmon’s possible farewell, said: “Mark has always been part of the series and always will be. As for his appearances on the screen, we will see how it ends ». “As an executive producer and a dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the TV series,” said the showrunner of NCIS Steve Binder in a statement. “Our North Star has always been to stay true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and the direction they go.”
According to the American press, Harmon was ready to leave NCIS already at the end of the eighteenth season. However, fearing that the news would lead to the cancellation of the series, CBS Studios struck a deal with him to have Gibbs return in a limited number of episodes, although it was hoped that his presence in the nineteenth season would be more substantial.
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