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Mark Harmon Quits 'NCIS' after 18 Seasons - a New 'Silver Fox' Could Be His Replacement

Busayo Ogunjimi
Oct 12, 2021
09:00 P.M.

Mark Harmon, best known for playing the lead character Leroy Jethro Gibbs in "NCIS," quit the show after 18 seasons. Following his decision, reports showed that a new "Silver Fox" could be his replacement.


"Naval Criminal Investigative Service" star Mark Harmon left the American police procedural television series after 18 seasons. "NCIS" is a spin-off from "JAG," which involves a team of special agents from the "Naval Criminal Investigative Service."

The show sees skilled investigator Leroy Jethro Gibbs who leads the "Naval Criminal Investigative Service" team to solve crimes. Harmon stars as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the show.

A picture actor Mark Harmon | Photo: Getty Images

A picture actor Mark Harmon | Photo: Getty Images


Harmon decided to opt out of the crime-solving series after being suspended on season 18 for assaulting a murderer and abuser of pets. Apart from the suspension, he also experienced an explosion that almost claimed his life.


Following Harmon's decision, "NCIS"s executive producer and showrunner Steve Binder commended him as he had been on the TV series since it aired. He noted that Harmon would always be a part of the show in his statement:

"As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show."

Mark Harmon at the Bayerischen Hof on May 25, 2010 in Munich, Germany | Photo: Getty Images

Mark Harmon at the Bayerischen Hof on May 25, 2010 in Munich, Germany | Photo: Getty Images

Although Harmon hasn't confirmed that he would be returning to "NCIS," CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl claimed that the actor would remain a member in an interview. He believed Harmon would be coming back on screen, but when that will be remains unclear.



Fans of the famous crime-solving show will miss agent Gibbs. In an unforgettable episode, Gibbs faked his death and took off to Alaska with McGee to solve the mystery behind a suspicious mining company.

While in Alastair, he met agent Parker who tried to take him down, but the two agents became friends after some encounters. They eventually took down the company, but Gibbs decided to remain in Alastair.


However, after Harmon's decision, fans might never see agent Gibbs again, and they will get to witness more of Gary Cole as he joined the series for its 19th season. Cole starred as FBI Special Agent Alden Park.

While speculations of Harmon's replacement kept spreading, a source confirmed that Cole's character was not a replacement for agent Gibbs.

But Agent Park is another interesting character. Agent Gibbs played a remarkable role on "NCIS." His departure was also commemorated with a deserving send-off.

 Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, in December 2020 | Photo: Getty Images

Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, in December 2020 | Photo: Getty Images

The actor and producer gave fans one last grip at his skillful display with just four episodes into the 19th season. However, fans believed that he returned because he learned that CBS might not air the show if he wasn't present.


The show also created different CBS spin-offs such as "NCIS Los Angeles," which debuted in 2009 and is presently in its 13th season. Others include "New Orleans," which was canceled after seven seasons, and "Hawaii," which debuted this fall.



Speculations showed that agent Gibbs could redo his role as agent Aaron Hotchner on CBS's first-ever "NCIS"-"Criminal Minds" crossover if he returned. But Harmon's departure has been finalized.

Also, after Harmon's departure, "NCIS" will need another effective team leader. However, some fans noted that Thomas Gibson might not be working with CBS again after he terminated his contract in 2016.

Amidst the departure procedure and fans' speculations, Harmon remains one of America's most remarkable actors. He is also a producer, director, voice actor, and former football quarterback. The 70-year-old actor's part in "NCIS" will always remain in fans' memories.

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