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Mark Harmon on his ‘NCIS’ exit: ‘I’m not retired.’

The actor, who seemingly departed the crime drama after 19 seasons, speaks out about his character’s future on the show.

The actor portrayed Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from 2003 to 2021.CBS Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Mark Harmon did well playing Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs for a long time.

The 70-year-old actor is discussing his exit from “NCIS” and the future of his character on the show for the first time since his departure.

Harmon, who played Gibbs from 2003 to 2021, said in the Season 19 DVD feature released by Entertainment Tonight, “What always draws me here is the character I play, and how he makes him feel fresh.” “Plot-wise, this character followed the path it took. I thought it was honest and OK with.

“I’m not retired,” the actor added. “The character is living in Alaska as far as I know.”

Harmon was a key character on “NCIS” for 18 seasons, with a brief appearance in Season 19. In it, Gibbs was working on a criminal case in Alaska when he told partner Tim McGee (Sean Murray) that he wasn’t “coming back.”

“I haven’t had this level of peace since Shannon and Kelly died, and I’m not ready to let it go, adding, “I couldn’t have asked for someone better to watch my back for the past 18 years than you.”

he told McGee
CBS/ Mark Harmon

In the featurette, executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson said that while Alaska was a “very weird location for Gibbs to go,” it didn’t mean it was the end of him.

“I thought that was a good way to end the show where the audience felt,’ ‘Were comfortable where he is,’” Johnson said . “But I believe the sensible thing was that we left it to the fact that we didn’t know if Gibbs would return. He didn’t say I’d never comeback. There was some optimism that if there was ever a need, we may run across Gibbs again.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Harmon’s character, Gibbs, has left the show only to return. Following a terrorist attack at the end of the third season, Gibbs briefly left the agency.

As so many fans pointed out following his most recent departure in 2021, Gibbs did not have a final day at the office or the opportunity to say goodbye to the remaining characters, including those who had been there since the first season.

So there’s always the potential that Harmon’s Gibbs may return to “NCIS.”

What do you think?


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