'NCIS': CBS Exec Responds to Mark Harmon Exit Rumors

NCIS was renewed for Season 19 back in April. But, there has been some speculation that the star of the series, Mark Harmon, may be departing the series. During an interview with Deadline, Kelly Kahl, the president of CBS Entertainment, addressed this speculation directly.

According to Kahl, they're taking things season by season when it comes to Harmon's future on the show. Although, he did say that he's happy with how the show has been run thus far. The CBS head explained, “We take it year by year with Mark, we’d love to have him as long as he’d like to be here. Even in this past season, he might have been light in a couple of [episodes], so we’re happy to work around his schedule.”

The speculation surrounding Harmon's future on NCIS originally began in February. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter noted that the actor's contract would be up at the end of Season 18. The publication reported that Harmon heard word that the show would end if he ever left the series. As a result, he reportedly began conversations with the network and the show's producers to appear in a handful of episodes for Season 19. To add to the speculation, Harmon's character, Jethro Gibbs, was suspended from the team during the course of Season 18 following his violent encounter with an animal abuser that took place earlier in the season.

Given that his character was suspended, that made some fans wonder whether the show was setting up Gibbs', and, subsequently, Harmon's, departure. However, fans can rest assured that the actor will appear in Season 19, albeit it's unclear how many episodes he will appear in. Kahl's comments about Harmon's time on NCIS also come shortly after the actor's wife, Pam Dawber, addressed this speculation. Dawber made her debut on the procedural during Season 18 as "a seasoned investigative journalist who uses her savvy wit and down-to-earth people skills to aid in her tireless pursuit of truth." Her appearance made some question whether this was the show's way of setting up a special exit for Harmon.

But, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dawber denied this. She told the publication, "That has nothing to do with anything. This is just a good storyline. I'm not going to go tip the hat on anything, but they don't think like that over there. A good storyline is a good storyline, and honest to God, we don't even know how it's going to end." You can watch NCIS, which airs new episodes on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, on Paramount +. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.

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