NCIS has been dominating their airwaves for 18 seasons, all of them with Mark Harmon as the series lead, but now it has been reported that Harmon may be considering an exit from the beloved series. According to Hollywood Reporter editor Lesley Goldberg, Harmon is "ready to leave." However, he is also said to be possibly "be willing" to come back for few episodes, if the show is renewed for Season 19.
Goldberg reports that CBS was considering ending the show if Harmon left, which is what prompted him to make the offer to appear in a limited number of episodes. With Harmon's contract ending at the current Season 18, he is not obligated to return. Notably, at this time NCIS is CBS's longest-running show and is — based on ratings date — one of the most-watched TV shows on air. Goldberg also points out that, based on global data, NCIS is the number 1 series in the world. It has been syndicated domestically and internationally. Overseas it is licensed in over 200 countries and territories.
Also big news in the #NCIS world: Mark Harmon’s future — and that of TV’s No. 1 show — are up in the air. The actor is rumored to be ready to leave, but would be willing to return for a handful of episodes if CBS renews it for a 19th season.February 16, 2021
For some time, Harmon has renewed his NCIS contract yearly, as opposed to renewing for multiple years at one time. This is not unusual for actors who have had a lengthy TV series tenure to do, but it does come with the risk that the series could end at any given moment, or at least lose its main star. In 2019, when NCIS was renewed for Season 17, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl implied that the network was prepared to keep Harmon happy for as long he wants to stay with the show.
"NCIS has been a global juggernaut for almost two decades," Kahl said in a statement at the time. "Its viewers are clearly the most loyal of any drama on television. They are passionate about the characters, the plotlines and the storytelling."
Khal continued, "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the gifted production team and the cast, led by the extraordinary Mark Harmon. We are delighted that the show will remain a linchpin of the CBS schedule this coming season." At this time, neither Harmon, NCIS producers, nor CBS appears to have commented on the report of Harmon potentially exiting NCIS.