NCIS has always had a talented cast. From Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo to newcomers Emily Wickersham and Diona Reasonover, the show’s success has been built on its character dynamics. The procedural has remained on the air for 17 seasons and counting, thanks in large part to the characters (as opposed to the episodic catch-the-k1ll3r narratives). No one can deny that Mark Harmon’s Agent Gibbs played a significant role in the show’s success.
Despite the fact that many of the series’ actors have left, Harmon remains committed to the show. He is now not only the series’ leading man, but also an executive producer.
Some disagreements between Harmon and NCIS’s original showrunner, Don Bellisario, led to the latter’s departure in the show’s early days. David McCallum (Ducky) spoke with DigitalSpy about what he remembers about Bellisario and why the man behind the franchise left.
David McCallum on Don Bellisario’s departure from ‘NCIS’
For many years, McCallum portrayed the NCIS Chief Forensic Medical Examiner. He recalls the show’s early days, particularly how things were a little hectic when it came to scripts. He stated:
Don Bellisario worked as an advertising executive even when he was writing scripts, and he thrived under pressure… After a few years, we got to the point where he was sending us scripts late. Because of a disagreement between Mark Harmon, who was representing the cast and crew, and Don, CBS decided that Don would leave us.David McCallum | DigitalSpy
McCallum explained that Bellisario would send scripts late, making it difficult to “work to a deadline,” as Bellisario preferred. Even though he avoids going into specifics, it’s clear that Bellisario and Harmon were not on the same wavelength. And, instead of replacing the show’s creator, CBS chose to keep its leading man. Who stepped in to take Bellisario’s place?
Gary Glasberg replaced Don Bellisario as the ‘NCIS’ showrunner, and then Steven D. Binder replaced Glasberg
Glasberg worked as a writer and producer for television. When Pigs Fly Incorporated, his production company, has been responsible for a number of memorable shows and films. Glasberg is best known for his work as the showrunner for NCIS and for creating the spinoff series NCIS: New Orleans.
Glasberg has also worked as a producer on shows such as The Mentalist, Shark, You Ask They Tell, Bones, The Evidence, Laws of Chance, Crossing Jordan, and others. Glasberg d1ed in 2016, and his NCIS duties were taken over by Steven D. Binder. Binder is a screenwriter and producer who has worked on films such as Totally Baked and Journey to the Flames: 10 Years of Burning Man.
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