The first thing we should note is this: There’s never been any official claim that he’s leaving the show altogether. It’s also never been confirmed that he’s appearing in less episodes as Gibbs. The latter certainly feels possible, but trying to get absolute clarity on all of this remains a challenge.
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So what can we say with some element of confidence? That Harmon will continue to have a role to play on the show. As a part of the TVLine fall preview, executive producer Steven D. Binder had the following to say about Gibbs’ status — in the vaguest possible terms, of course:
“What we’re trying to focus on right now is telling the best stories we can with the characters we have — and Gibbs is a part of that world. And I think we’re doing a pretty good job with that.”
Binder also added that “a lot of things are reported on this show that aren’t necessarily true,” so go ahead and keep that quote in mind as we proceed through the rest of the off-season. It looks as though the season 19 premiere will pick up shortly after the events of the season 18 finale, where Gibbs was nearly killed in a boat explosion before swimming away. Also, be prepared for the team to have a more active role in his case; that makes sense, given that an attempted murder on Gibbs’ life would certainly fall into NCIS jurisdiction.
What do you want to see from Mark Harmon as Gibbs on NCIS season 19?
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This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.