NCIS viewers are still reeling after the sh0ck1ng departure of Agent Gibbs in the most recent episode. Is the program doomed now that Mark Harmon is no longer a series regular?
NCIS has evolved significantly over its 18-year run, but one constant has been Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon), who has appeared in every episode since the show’s inception. Given that Gibbs is considered too old to be a field agent, there have been rumors of him quitting the CBS show for quite some time. Nonetheless, it came as a surprise when he announced that he would not be returning to NCIS after an encounter with Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray).
Will NCIS be canceled after the departure of Mark Harmon?
On Monday, October 11, NCIS returned for another action-packed episode titled Great Wide Open.
Gibbs continued his goal to find serial k1ll3r Paul Lamere (Jason Wiles) in the episode, but this time he had McGee to aid him.
Friends and coworkers embarked on a road trip to Alaska to search him down, and by the end, they had him in handcuffs.
In the final minutes, he revealed to McGee that he intended to stay in Alaska permanently.
Viewers were aware that Harmon would be appearing in fewer episodes after the actor signed a contract stating that he would only appear in a couple of episodes earlier this year.
By having Gibbs fake his own d3ath at the end of Series 18, the show was preparing fans for this significant shift.
This explains why he was gone at the start of the new season.
Harmon, it has subsequently been revealed, signed a one-year contract in which he will appear in a “limited role.”
Following the premiere of Great Wide Open, many were outraged by Gibbs’ departure, with some threatening to stop watching entirely.
“I’ve seen every single episode,” one spectator tweeted. I’ve watched Kate, Ziva, Tony, Abby, and even Bishop come and go, but NCIS is Gibbs. “He goes, and I go.”
“I loved the conclusion for Gibbs, and I won’t watch any more NCIS,” said another. That finish was great; it’s where the season should have concluded. “It’s certainly bittersweet.”
While a third just stated that “there is no ‘NCIS’ without Gibbs” and that his exit episode would be the last time they watched the show.
With so many long-term fans who equate NCIS with Gibbs, his departure may force them to stop watching.
If watching figures fall as a result, Season 19 may very probably be the drama’s final season.
At this time, Series 20 has not been renewed or cancelled, but CBS may be waiting to see how viewers react to the new Gibbs-less format before making any choices.
Despite the dramatic finale of episode four, an NCIS producer has hinted that Gibbs may return to our screens in the future.
After the premiere of Great Wide Open, executive producer Steven Binder posted on Instagram: “Mark, as an executive producer and close friend, remains a vital part of the show’s fabric.
“Staying loyal to our characters has always been our north star, and that truth has always driven the stories we create and where those characters go.
“As veteran viewers of the show may have noted over the years, never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out when it comes to the future of Gibbs.”
So maybe this isn’t the end of Gibbs after all.
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