Harmon has played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on Boots since he was introduced in 2003
Mark Harmon ended his run as a series regular on CBS’s long-running procedural drama “NCIS” on Monday.
The latest episode served as a goodbye for Harmon’s character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who has been with the series for the past 18 years since he first appeared on the show “JAG” in 2003.
According to time limitIn Monday’s episode, “Great Wide Open,” Gibbs and Special Agent Timothy McGee, played by Sam Murray, head to Alaska to find a contract killer hired by a local company. Following the case, Gibbs suddenly informs his partner and NCIS director, Vance (Rocky Carroll), that he will not return to law enforcement. Instead, he opted to stay in Alaska, noting that he had found a “sense of peace” in the north and was not yet ready to leave it.
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The move comes as no shock to fans who had been speculating for months that Harmon’s time on the show might be coming to an end. Hollywood Reporter previously revealed that he had signed a deal to return to the show in season 19, but in a limited capacity. Although he will remain with the franchise as a producer, it looks like his time in front of the camera on the show has come to an end as of Monday.
Fortunately, the show will go on with current cast members like Murray, Carol, Katrina Law, Gary Cole, Brian Dietzen, David McCallum, Wilmer Valderrama, and Diona Reasonover. Meanwhile, showrunner Steven D. Binder noted that Harmon’s Special Agent Gibbs still exists in the show’s world and is welcome to return if the actor decides to reprise his role.
“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark remains an integral part of the fabric of the show,” Binder said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Our North Star has always been true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So about Gibbs’ future, as the show’s long been Fans must have noticed. … never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs.”