This just in: Mark Harmon, the star of CBS’ “NCIS,” has decided to sign for another season, which means his character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, will be back this fall for the procedural’s 19th season.
According to The Holllywood Reporter, Harmon’s decision to remain on the network’s most popular show extended the life of the series; he also serves as an executive producer.
If he didn’t agree to return as the centrifugal force of the No. 1 investigative show on prime time, the show would have been shuttered.
There were layered concerns – if Harmon exited, would the show continue and hope he might make limited recurring appearances? Though “NCIS” will extend its run one more year, Harmon has not expressed a desire to appear full time, since the coronavirus pandemic continues. Covid has cut the number of episodes during the 17th and 18th season, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The recent decision also does not mention a second year extended to make it the 20th season. To date, TV’s longest-running show is NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU,” which has been on air for 21 seasons and gunning for 22 his fall.
Harmon’s decision to keep the brand going also gives impetus to “NCIS: Hawaii,” which is primed to be on the fall agenda with execs from the soon-to-shut-down “NCIS: New Orleans,” ending its seventh year, serving as the new island team.
Meanwhile, “NCIS: Los Angeles” – in its 12th year, going on 13–also will continue, with possible crossover episodes with the Hawaii spinoff.
And CBS’ “Magnum P.I.” has been renewed for a fourth season, meaning Hawaii will again have two live action shows competing for actors and locations since the earlier termination of the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot.
But CBS’ “Bull,” starring Michael Weatherly, also has been granted a sixth season, thus putting to rest to the rumors and hope that the actor might become part of the Hawaii “NCIS” as Tony DiNozzo.