Why is Mark Harmon leaving NCIS? Tonight’s episode feels at least like a temporary exit for the character of Jethro Gibbs. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds but for now, it does appear like we have to prepare for the series to pivot in a totally new direction.
For those wondering, the evidence has been there of a potential Harmon exit ever since the spring. It seems as though the decision for him to take a step back was his and his alone, and we certainly get that. This is a role that the 70-year old actor has played for almost two decades and at a certain point, he may have just determined that he wants to have a little more time away. This is an extremely demanding job, one that requires long hours and for you to work a good ten months out of the year. That’s a larger full-time commitment than almost any other scripted show out there; sure, this is fewer months a year than the average job in America, but most of those jobs don’t require you to work 12+ hours most of the time.
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The #1 thing to remember is that there is no apparent controversy to Harmon taking more of a back seat. For years the tabloids have run with all sorts of terrible rumors surrounding his future on the show, whether it be false stories about his health or “tension” behind the scenes. It doesn’t seem as though there is truth to any of them, just as it seems clear that CBS wanted him back for more than just a limited run of episodes. This exit seems totally about Mark wanting more time to do other things, whether that be career-wise or in his personal life.
Are you sad that Mark Harmon is leaving NCIS, at the very least for the time being?
Be sure to let us know in the comments! Once you do just that, remember to stick around; there are more updates coming on the show and we don’t want you to miss them. (Photo: CBS.)
This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.