‘NCIS’ Fans Reveal Character Who Could Best Replace Mark Harmon (Agent Gibbs)

Following Cote de Pablo’s return to NCISin glorious fashion, hurrying down the stairwell to inform Gibbs of some impending doom — fans have begun theorizing the fallout of season seventeen. Will Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David return as a pivotal cast member or only appear in a few episodes? Will Michael Weatherly return as Tony and reunite with his former love interest? And, what’s on the agenda for the face of NCIS, Mark Harmon? What’s next for the beloved Agent Gibbs?

NCIS star Mark Harmon
‘NCIS’ star Mark Harmon | Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Mark Harmon has reportedly only signed on for season seventeen; thus, fans have begun to wonder if he is planning to depart the series and pass the baton to the recently-returned Ziva David. Because Cote de Pablo stated she would not come back to NCIS unless something “fantastic” was written for her character, the narrative possibilities are, to say the least, far from endless.  However, would Cote de Pablo be the best replacement for Agent Gibbs?

In an online discussion concerning whether NCIS could survive without Mark Harmon, fans of the show began discussing who could adequately fill the legendary actor’s shoes. As the face of NCIS, and an executive producer behind the series, Mark Harmon IS NCIS. However, one character, in particular, seems to gain the most approval. 

Fans argue that Michael Weatherly’s DiNozzo would have been/would be the best replacement for Mark Harmon’s Agent Gibbs

NCIS enthusiasts, first and foremost, note that the survival of the show is unlikely without Harmon, for he has remained the mainstay as other actors come and go. Harmon is the glue, serving to bind new additions to an old, already successful series. 

Without Harmon, the show would feel too “new,” and NCIS could lose the sense of familiarity fans have come to associate with it. However, many feel Michael Weatherly would have been able to make up for the feelings of loss fans would endure. One NCIS enthusiast, eschewing the idea that McGee could take the mantle, noted:

With McGee, hell no, he’s no leader.

With Tony, they would’ve had a chance, especially now, if he were to come back.

Reddit User

Another NCIS fan noted, a few seasons back, there was a great way to transition DiNozzo into a leadership role. The fan stated:

In S14, I thought the show would have been better had they lost Gibbs instead of DiNozzo. I didn’t see a whole lot more room for further Gibbs development, but having DiNozzo step up and deal with the loss of a father figure (whether he be dead or retired) and the challenges of being a leader would have retained viewers.

Reddit User

Michael Weatherly gains quite a bit of backing as the show’s “only hope” if Gibbs were to be amiss. One viewer noted:

Michael Weatherly mentioned being okay with maybe returning if I recall. Him leading the team easily would help the show survive and thrive…

Reddit User

Michael Weatherly currently has his own CBS show, Bull; however, would he return to NCIS? Cote de Pablo is back as Ziva; maybe they could lead the team together? Other fans note that Cote de Pablo could stand a chance at keeping the show alive without Mark Harmon; however, many believe DiNozzo would need to become the show’s lynchpin if Mark Harmon were to depart.