Mark Harmon Returning for 'NCIS' Gibbs Spinoff

Mark Harmon will be narrating and executive producing 'NCIS: Origins,' a prequel centering on a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs in 1991.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs is coming back. After Mark Harmon exited NCIS at the beginning of Season 19 after portraying the beloved NCIS Special Agent since the JAG backdoor pilot over 20 years ago, rumors have been swirling about his possible return. While nothing was ever set in stone, the actor is now confirmed to be coming back to the franchise, but in a different way. According to Deadline, CBS has given a straight-to-series order to NCIS: Origins.

Premiering during the 2024-25 broadcast season, the prequel series will follow a young Gibbs as he starts his career as a special agent at NCIS Camp Pendleton on a team led by Mike Franks. The series comes from Harmon and his son, Sean Harmon, who portrayed a younger version of his father's character in flashbacks from 2008 to 2020. Also part of the project are veteran NCIS writers and producers Gina Lucita Monreal and David J. North, and CBS Studios.

Sean Harmon came up with the idea, and he and his father approached Monreal, North, and CBS Studios with the pitch. The father-son duo will serve as executive producers, alongside Monreal and North, who are serving as co-showrunners and will also co-write the premiere. Casting will soon be underway for the lead. Mark Harmon will be narrating his character's story, which begins in 1991.

"The character of Gibbs has been an important part of my life for 20 years, both in watching my father craft the role and previously having the honor to play young Gibbs myself," Sean Harmon shared in a statement. "I always felt there was a tale worth telling about his earlier years, so I am thrilled to be stepping into a producing role alongside Gina, David and my dad as we tell this story and reveal a new side of this beloved character."

NCIS: Origins will mark the fifth spinoff in the franchise, following NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, NCIS: Hawai'i, and the very recent NCIS: Sydney, which premiered stateside last November. It will also be the first prequel series in the franchise, and depending on how well it does, it also may not be the last. News of the prequel series comes ahead of NCIS' 21st season, which will premiere next month.

In a statement, CBS Entertainment President Amy Reisenbach said, "We are elated and honored to continue the expansion of the NCIS universe in such a unique and unexpected way. Viewers can look forward to Mark Harmon returning to CBS to narrate the complex and mysterious backstory of Leroy Jethro Gibbs' early years in NCIS: Origins, which will build on the rich legacy of this character while reintroducing fan-favorite characters and meeting new ones."