Could Mark Harmon Still Return To NCIS As Gibbs? Here’s What Sean Murray Says

Season 19 of NCIS has been without longtime cast member Mark Harmon for the majority of the season. Over the last few years, rumors were swirling that the actor would be leaving the CBS procedural and, ultimately, the beginning of the season saw his character, Gibbs, get sent on a big (and long) mission. But could he still come back in some way? Well, Sean Murray is opening up about whether we've seen the last of Gibbs.

Sean Murray, who portrays Special Agent Timothy McGee, discussed Mark Harmon’s absence with Parade Magazine. He opened up about the fact that while Gibbs hasn’t been seen on NCIS since initially leaving, nor does he know if and when he’ll return, Harmon is still a fixture on the production floor. With this, Murray is holding out hope that the fan-favorite character will return:

He does pop in. I saw him two weeks ago actually. So, he’s around. It’s not like he’s packed up and left town or anything. I’m not saying this just to say it for a tease and all that BS, I really, truly believe that the Gibbs could pop up somewhere. I really believe that there’s a possibility of that happening.

It’s nice knowing that even though he doesn’t appear on the series much anymore, the 70-year-old actor is still very much part of it behind the scenes. Hopefully, with him still coming around every so often, he’ll think about returning, even if it's just an episode or two. I'd love to know what Gibbs' mission was and how it could change him as a character.

Reports of NCIS Season 19 including less of Mark Harmon arrived alongside the show’s renewal in April 2021. Harmon found out that the show would likely end if he left the series, so he was able to strike a deal with CBS to appear in a handful of episodes. While the show has managed to still keep things interesting without Gibbs (even including a crossover with freshman series NCIS: Hawai’i) the show still hasn’t been quite the same without him.

As of now, Mark Harmon doesn’t appear to have any upcoming projects in the works, so there doesn't seem to be much keeping him from being on NCIS. But with the current season coming to an end fairly soon, fans might have to wait until Season 20 to potentially see Gibbs again.

Meanwhile, NCIS is not the only series in the franchise that has fans hoping and waiting for the return of a beloved character. Due to COVID and other factors, Linda Hunt hasn’t appeared as Hetty on NCIS: LA since last season. While it’s likely fans will finally see her again in the upcoming season, it’s still a bummer that they have to wait so long.

But fingers crossed, that we get to see Mark Harmon back on NCIS in the near future. To say that he's a key part of the franchise would be an understatement and his return as Gibbs would be a real treat. While you wait for word on that front though, check out new episodes of the show when they air on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.