Mark Harmon Reveals What Would Make Him Leave ‘NCIS’

Mark Harmon – the face of NCIS since 2003 – has discussed his personal tendency towards commitment and hard work. Previously citing his gig on NCIS as “getting lucky,” the actor has explained, more than once, that luck is earned. If anyone has earned success, it is Mark Harmon.

Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon | Photo by Kevin Lynch/CBS via Getty Images

NCIS, one of Mark Harmon’s several successful television shows, joining the ranks of St. Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, and The West Wing – is currently the most popular show on network television. With an international following and a loyal fanbase, Harmon has referenced the series as a “commitment” he happily signed up for.

While dedicated to his portrayal of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, hopefully until the end of time, Mark Harmon sat down with TV Insider to discuss the role, as well as the one factor that would lead him to walk away from the most iconic character he has ever played (for Harmon and Gibbs are virtually one at this point).

Mark Harmon would leave ‘NCIS’ if the writers lost their mojo

During his interview, Harmon was asked, “NCIS could run forever. Will you stick with it?” Many actors would be hesitant to boldly answer in either direction – afraid of writing off other opportunities or upsetting anyone behind the current production – yet, Harmon gave a perfectly reasonable response, one that shows both his dedication to the series and his commitment to unique and original narratives.

Harmon stated:

“Right now our writers are all very up and excited. You can see it on their faces. Now, if I ever witness them walking into the writers’ room with their heads down, feeling they’ve done it all, that would be the time to say, “I think I’m done here.” But there is still a real feeling of creativity and a sense of reinvention on our set. It’s so terrific having Maria Bello join us this season. She’s not just a great actress. She wants to be with us. That says a lot.”

TV Insider 

While Mark Harmon may seem unwaveringly committed to the series, he is, more accurately, committed to delivering quality work, that of which the NCIS audience has come to expect. Despite its consistently revolving door of cast members, working to change the various dynamics on the show, NCIS remains steadfast in its dedication to captivating episodes and in-depth characterizations.

While fans miss Cote de Pablo, her absence, alongside Pauley Perrette’s and Michael Weatherly’s departures, have not ruined the show. The new cast members bring equally exciting personalities and backstories, keeping the show fresh and appealing.

Will the writers behind ‘NCIS’ be able to keep up the good work forever?

While a show’s longevity is difficult to predict, NCIS is now going on to its seventeenth season and boasts higher ratings and viewership than the show has ever seen, so if the past can speak to the success of the future, Agent Gibbs should be with NCIS until the end of time.

With talented castmembers consistently jumping on board to throw a wrench into the normal ebb and flow associated with the series, the creators manage to maintain the status quo that audiences enjoy while keeping viewers on their toes. And the balance, thus far, has felt quite effortless.