‘NCIS’: The Behind-The-Scenes Drama That The Stars Don’t Want Fans To Know

Being the highest rated drama on TV comes with a good share of drama – and NCIS is no exception. The popular crime procedural has been hit with a number of scandals over the years, though CBS has done a good job mopping up the messes. Here’s a look at all the untold behind-the-scenes drama that NCIS does not want fans to know about.

Mark Harmon vs. ‘NCIS’ creator Donald Bellisario

NCIS creator Donald Bellisario was with the show until his abrupt departure in 2007. There are plenty of examples of creators leaving their shows for other projects, but Bellisario’s exit was unique because he was forced out by one of his own stars.

Inside sources claim that Harmon butted heads with Bellisario on a regular basis and was not happy with how he managed things on set. According to Looper, the two ended up facing off in an epic showdown, and CBS ultimately sided with Harmon. As a result, Bellisario resigned and the network replaced him. 

The drama with Bellisario did not end there. A few years after his departure, CBS decided to launch an NCIS spinoff, better known as NCIS: Los Angeles. The only problem is that in his original contract, Bellisario was given the rights to create any spinoff related to the original series.

When CBS contracted Shane Brennan to lead the project, Bellisario took the network to court. The case bounced around in court for a few years before the parties settled for what we can only presume was a significant amount of money.

Pauley Perrette and Cote de Pablo start a feud

Pauley Perrette’s behind-the-scenes feud with Cote de Pablo reached a boiling point in 2013. At the time, de Pablo had just announced her departure from NCIS because she did not like where the series was taking her character, Ziva David. Shortly after the announcement, Perrette seemingly shaded de Pablo on social media by posting a photo of herself wearing a t-shirt that read, “I love my job.” Although the post appeared innocent on the surface, fans immediately thought otherwise.  

De Pablo’s followers suspected that Perrette was insulting de Pablo and expressed their thoughts loud and clear. As the drama heated up, de Pablo allegedly reached out to Perrette and requested that she stop commenting on her exit. Perrette stopped tweeting for several hours and drama eventually fizzled out.

Inside Harmon’s dog drama

One of the biggest behind-the-scenes scandals to rock NCIS over the years happened when Harmon’s pet dog attacked a crew member on set. In 2016, Harmon reportedly brought his dog to work and the pooch bit a crew member.

The injury was bad enough to require 15 stitches and sent Perrette over the edge. In fact, a year after the event, Perrette took to Twitter and hinted that the dog attack – and how Harmon handled the situation – was the real reason she left NCIS.

Before her exit, Perrette complained to CBS about Harmon’s dog and did not feel like he should be allowed to bring the pet on set. The network made special arrangements so that Perrette and Harmon did not have to film a lot of scenes together.

Unfortunately, that was not enough for Perrette and she ultimately decided to leave the series after Season 15. That said, other sources claim that Perrette had already made up her mind about leaving the series prior to Harmon’s dog incident.

Perrette’s blasts Harmon on social media

Although she has not been a part of the show since Season 15, Perrette recently took to Twitter and accused Harmon of physically assaulting her on the set of NCIS.

After fans asked her if she would ever return to the series, Perrette revealed that she is still “terrified” of Harmon and has nightmares about his intimidation tactics. Perrette did not reveal any specifics about the assault, though it reportedly included a body check on behalf of Harmon.

Harmon has yet to respond to the bombshell claims. The actor is currently getting ready to start production on Season 17 of NCIS, which is scheduled to return this fall.