For a show that has been on the air across three separate decades, it’s always impressive when it still manages to surprise you.
Nevertheless, not all of those surprises are satisfying… clearly.
Created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill, NCIS served as a spin-off of JAG and first premiered on CBS back in September 2003. Since then, the police procedural has unveiled a wealth of beloved characters.
However, fans would argue that only a select few are truly unexpendable.
The top of the list? It can be none other than Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who has been portrayed by the magnificent Mark Harmon from the very beginning.
Despite him remaining a bona-fide fan favourite after all these years, the worst has been announced. Mark has decided to stop reprising the role of Gibbs, much to the disappointment of audiences everywhere.
Inevitably, thoughts have turned to who can fill the character’s shoes. So, who will replace Gibbs on NCIS?
Who will replace Gibbs on NCIS?
New addition Gary Cole is ultimately going to replace Mark’s Gibbs, embracing the role of FBI Special Agent Alden Park.
The 65-year-old American actor was announced to be boarding the show earlier this summer alongside Katrina Law as Special Agent Jessica Knight being declared a series regular; she appeared in the concluding episodes of season 18.
Back then, Deadline reported that Gary Cole was expected to help fill the void as a series regular after Mark Harmon’s screen presence was reduced.
However, in the wake of recent news, it’s anticipated that he’ll prove an even more central character.
Fans have already met the new FBI Special Agent and the reception has been warm. Nevertheless, both new and long-term viewers are sure to miss Gibbs a great deal moving forward.
With this in mind, is there any chance we may see him back in action down the line?
“We’re just going to have to see”
Top personnel aboard NCIS have already weighed in their thoughts on Mark Harmon’s NCIS future.
CBS Entertainment boss Kelly Kahl has previously explained that “Mark’s always been part of the show, Mark’s always going to be part of the show.” However, she was sure to include that “in terms of his on-air appearances, we’re just going to have to see how it plays out going forward.”
While this may not give fans too much hope, a word from showrunner Steven D. Binder just might:
“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go.”
He added: “So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”
But enough about Mark Harmon, let’s talk about the new guy…
Gary Cole may be familiar
The actor’s career spans decades and he has recently showcased his talents in such shows as Q-Force (he plays Director Dirk Chunley), The Good Fight (Kurt McVeigh), Mixed-ish (Harrison Jackson), Veep (Kent Davison), and Chicago Fire (Chief Grissom).
Looking further back, you may also have seen him in Suits (Cameron Dennis), Mercy Street (James Green), and The West Wing (Vice President Bob Russell).
Movie roles, on the other hand, include Dodgeball (Cotton McKnight), Office Space (Bill Lumbergh), In the Line of Fire (Bill Watts), Talladega Nights (Reece Bobby), Pineapple Express (Ted Jones), and Blockers (Ron).
NCIS continues on Mondays over on CBS.
In other news, How old is Ducky on NCIS and what age is David McCallum?