As we enter NCIS season 19 this fall, we know that the status of Mark Harmon is front of mind for many people. Reports are that he will have a reduced role in the season, and those reports are seemingly corroborated by the casting of Gary Cole as a new series regular. We know that Cole’s character is not a de-facto replacement for Jethro Gibbs, but people are going to see things in however manner they choose.
Here is where things get a bit tricky for the folks at CBS — despite all of the headlines surrounding Mark’s future, they have never confirmed anything. How do they go about promoting the season with this in mind?
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If we had to wager an educated guess, at least for now, we’d say that they will leave any talk of Mark leaving on the back-burner for now. After all, there’s been no reporting that Harmon is leaving the series for good; instead, it’s only been that he will appear in just a handful of episodes. If CBS were to promote the premiere, for example, as the beginning of the end for Gibbs, they run the risk of losing fans anticipating that the actor will be soon for good. That may not end up being the case.
More than likely, they’ll spend more of their time addressing Gibbs within the context of the cliffhanger at the end of last season — one that left him nearly dead after the explosion on his boat. That story is an easy sell to viewers and ultimately, they can deal with a potential departure down the road. There’s also the question of the long-term future of NCIS. If season 19 turns out to be the final one for the show, they don’t need to promote or discuss a Harmon exit at all.
What do you think CBS is going to hype up entering NCIS season 19?
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This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.