Is NCIS preparing for Mark Harmon to take a step back from the series? Season 18's 10th episode ended on a note that has fans fearing Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs will only be returning part-time, if at all, in a potential 19th season after a violent run-in with an animal abuser led to the leader of the NCIS team being suspended indefinitely, despite the efforts of Tim McGee (Sean Murray), Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) to keep the hammer of NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) from falling down hard on their boss.
Harmon, who was once the highest-paid actor on TV, has been speculated over the past year to possibly be leaving NCIS behind after more than 400 episodes as Gibbs. The CBS show has already lost Jack Sloane (Maria Bello) in 2021, and Harmon's contract is officially up at the end of Season 18, as reported in February by The Hollywood Reporter. THR noted at the time, as NCIS: New Orleans was announced as canceled that Harmon was initially planning to exit the show, but learned that doing so would be the end of the flagship crime procedural show as well and entered talks to appear for a handful of episodes if the show returns for Season 19.
The show's nineteenth season has yet to be announced after the COVID-19 pandemic cut the Season 18 run down to only 16 episodes as opposed to its usual 24, and no casting information has yet to be announced. NCIS has been a ratings win for CBS season after season with the Season 18 premiere being crowned the most-watched scripted cable show of the night with upwards of 10.1 million viewers.
There's more twists and turns to come this season, with Entertainment Weekly reporting Wednesday that Harmon's real-life wife, Pam Dawber, will make her debut on the show after nearly two decades. Beginning April 6, Dawber will portray Marcie Warren, described by the show as "a seasoned investigative journalist who uses her savvy wit and down-to-earth people skills to aid in her tireless pursuit of truth."
Dawber has quite the resume herself, appearing opposite Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy as well as My Sister Sam with Rebecca Schaeffer. Most recently on broadcast TV, Dawber starred in CBS' The Odd Couple in 2016. Dawber and Harmon, who have two children together, married in 1987.