Mark Harmon (Freaky Friday) has exited CBS’ NCIS after 18 years of playing Gibbs, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the actor signed on to continue with the long-running drama for its 19th season, the deal was only to return for a limited capacity.
Monday’s episode served as Harmon’s last; following his near-death experience in the season 18 finale’s boat explosion, Gibbs opted not to return to his job at NCIS. Instead, he will remain in Alaska, where he and McGee worked together to track down a hitman. Showrunner Steven D. Binder (Eating L.A.) still left the door open for Harmon to return to the longest-running CBS scripted show.
“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 regarded the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years . . . never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
Katrina Law (Spartacus) and Gary Cole (Office Space) have been added as series regulars for season 19 of NCIS. Long-serving cast members Brian Dietzen (From Justin to Kelly) Rocky Carroll (Roc), and David McCallum (The Invisible Man) will return as series regulars.