‘NCIS:’ Mark Harmon Dodges Question About Pauley Perrette

Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette starred on NCIS together from 2003 until Perrette left the show in season 16. Pauley Perrette played the quick-thinking forensic scientist who was always garbed in gothic attire and intimately concerned with her fellow naval investigators’ well-being.

Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette on 'NCIS'
Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette on ‘NCIS’ | Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

On NCIS, Abby and Gibbs (Mark Harmon) boasted a father-daughter dynamic, one that was quite endearing and emotionally stirring at times. She and Gibbs were very close on the series; when Gibbs was admitted into the hospital, she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown for the episode’s entirety and frequently arrived at the hospital after visiting hours.

Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, and the dog bite

While Harmon and Perrette were initially friends on the series, an incident involving Harmon’s dog put a fork in their relationship towards the end of Perrette’s run on the show. According to The Wrap, after Harmon’s dog bit a crew member in 2016 – which led to the crew member needing several stitches – Perrette objected to the dog’s return. However, the dog was allowed back on set, and the tension between the two actors continued boiling.

Soon after, viewers began to notice that Perrette and Harmon no longer shared the screen; they didn’t even share the spotlight for Perrette’s final episode. Inside sources told The Wrap that they filmed their scenes on different days to avoid any further conflicts.

Mark Harmon, when asked about Pauley Perrette and her exit from the show, seems to answer in a gentlemanly fashion; however, at the same time, definitely dodges the question and resorts to vague generalisms, seemingly as a means of escape.

Mark Harmon avoids sharing his personal feelings regarding Perrette’s exit from ‘NCIS’

During his interview with ET Canada, Mark Harmon discusses the show’s longevity, Maria Bello joining the team, and Pauley Perrette’s exit from the hit CBS show. When asked, “Pauley leaving, what will you miss most about her?” Harmon does not share a personal anecdote or an aspect of Perrette’s personality, but rather, states:

“Well, look. It’s hard. It’s hard on the fans. We know that. You grow up. You get used to certain people and certain parts of this show and character. At the same time, this show is about adjusting. It has been for years, and you pat people on the back and you wish them well…”

ET Canada

While Mark Harmon’s answer is by no means hateful, it definitely lacks the sentimentality that the interviewer was looking for with the question. Is Pauley Perrette funny on set? Does Pauley Perrette do this one thing that makes everyone smile at the end of the day? You get the idea. However, Harmon resorts to statements regarding fan anticipations and narrative adjustments.

Known for being a straight-laced man with a to-the-point manner of addressing topics, his answer should not come as surprise. However, given the end of his relationship with Perrette, it is also quite possible that he could not, at that moment, recall a time before their relationship fractured.

Mark Harmon also immediately mentions the fans, leading many to wonder if he’s implying that the fans will miss her; however, her departure from the show will be another means by which the show adjusts, grows, and walk into a new and fresher light. However, to all us fans, Perrette will always be the lovable and kindhearted Abby; a character we will miss until the show’s very end.