NCIS without "Gibbs" sounds as wrong as "Starsky" without "Hutch" or "Scully" without "Mulder." Fans are wondering if the series has a future at all without Mark Harmon in the lead role.
The first episode since the "Gibbs" exit aired on Monday, and newcomer "Alden Parker" (Gary Cole) is already on the verge of becoming the new boss. So, what do fans think of this new direction?
NCIS without "Gibbs" — Fans are divided on "Parker"
NCIS fans are speaking out on Twitter, where there's a pretty clear divide between the "Gibbs" diehards and those who are quickly warming up to "Parker."
Many users say they no longer enjoy the series without "Gibbs." One fan writes: "The show was Gibbs. Only shell now. Show should have ended with him leaving."
Another user adds: "If Mark retires then I feel justified in retirement as well, and will no longer be watching NCIS. I am sorry, for me Gibbs/Mark is the show."
However, there are also many posts by viewers who are coming around to Gary Cole. "Absolutely loved this episode. Gary is a great replacement for Mark," a fan tweeted.
Another "Parker" fan chimed in: "Gary Cole is a fantastic actor, I admit Gibbs is my man but Park is fitting in quite nice."
Though the fanbase appears to view "Parker" as a promising replacement, users are still split and want to see how it all plays out.
A fan writes: "It wasn't the same without Gibbs but it was certainly getting back to something a bit more familiar with the case-of-the-week."
New NCIS season 19 episode scores ratings win
Regardless of how fans felt, they sure did tune in to the latest NCIS episode. Per TVLine, a total of 7.4 million people in the United States alone watched as "Parker" familiarized himself with the NCIS team.
The episode won the night on TV. Fans were clearly curious about how things would go on without "Gibbs." But we're still hoping that won't be all for the NCIS legend.
Harmon is still producing the series and a statement on his exit indicated that guest appearances by the actor shouldn't be ruled out in the future.
And we're all satisfied that "Gibbs" was not written off the show in a deadly way. Instead, after one last case, he decided to stay in Alaska and enjoy the peace and quiet that he has now more than earned.