Mark Harmon has been talking about NCIS quite a bit over the last few months. He was featured heavily in The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history on the show, he issued a statement following the death of former co-star David McCallum, and he recently published a book with the show’s former NCIS consultant, Leon Carroll.
There are valid reasons for each of these talking points. NCIS recently celebrated its 20th year on the air, McCallum was a beloved cast member, and Harmon’s book, Ghosts of Honolulu, is steeped in a real case of naval crime. Given how popular Harmon is among NCIS fans, though, it was only a matter of time before he got hit with the big question. You know the one: is he coming back?
Entertainment Tonight was the outlet that breached the topic. The outlet ran a recent Q&A with Harmon, during which they asked about his plans for the future and his desire to return as Leroy Jethro Gibbs to solve cases on the small screen. The answer was predictably vague. Harmon said that the characters is probably “sitting in a stream up in Alaska fishing.”
The one thing the actor was clear about, though, was that he has not been privy to any talks about bringing Gibbs back. “Is he going to get out of the stream? I don’t know”, he asserted. “But if he is, I don’t know about it.” Given that Harmon is an executive producer on the show, we’re going to take this to mean that NCIS showrunners have not had any serious discussions to bring the character back.
It makes sense, frankly. The show went through a lot of effort to give Gibbs a worthy send-off, and have made a point of carefully handing the leadership of the NCIS team over to Alden Parker (Gary Cole). Charles Floyd Johnson, an executive producer on the show, made it clear that they wanted to look forward rather than backward during the aforementioned oral history.
“We pitched it to him that he was going to come in and wasn’t sure he was going to stay with the team, so that he didn’t have to feel like he was stepping into the shoes of someone who had been there for 18 seasons”, the producer explained. “[We] hit gold.”
As the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If Gibbs wants to stay in that stream then the show should leave him be.
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