Say it ain't so, "Gibbs." According to industry reports, Mark Harmon's time on NCIS could be nearing its end. His contract expires at the end of this season and, as THR reports, how the actor chooses to move forward will impact the future of NCIS. At the moment, the series is airing season 18 and has yet to be renewed for a 19th season.
NCIS: Mark Harmon leaving after season 18? Season 19?
As THR has reported, Harmon, 69, has been in conversation with higher-ups regarding his future. He was apparently considering not returning for a 19th season but learned that, if he quit, NCIS would end altogether. At that point, he began considering a reduced role in season 19.
"Sources say when Harmon heard CBS would end the flagship series if he left, the star and exec producer began conversations with the network and producers CBS Studios to return for a handful of episodes if the procedural was to return for a 19th season," THR writes.
That adds another twist to the story: that NCIS could even end with the current 18th season. Although it remains the most watched show on television, NCIS is the "most expensive" to produce for CBS, so the network could be looking to go in new directions, according to THR.
CBS cancelled NCIS: New Orleans, Mom
All in all, the uncertainty for NCIS and Harmon could make for a suspenseful few weeks as CBS confirms which series it will renew for the 2021-22 TV season. This week, the network has already cut NCIS: New Orleans and Mom, while rumours of an NCIS: Hawaii spin-off add another possible route for the franchise's future.
Harmon has been with NCIS since 2003 and, over that timespan, most of the show's long-time actors have exited. So far, only 7 of 18 episodes in season 18 have aired, and the next will show on March 2—when it's expected that star Maria Bello ("Sloane") will leave.
We're hoping for the best on news for NCIS — and Mark Harmon — moving forward!