NCIS Boss Reveals Real Reason Mark Harmon Earned The ‘Challenging’ Role of Gibbs


Although it’s difficult to fathom anyone other than Mark Harmon as Gibbs, the NCIS showrunner revealed a long list of prospective A-listers.

In honor of NCIS’ 20th anniversary, the show’s executives reflected on the early days and explained why Mark Harmon was cast as the beloved Gibbs.

Gibbs originally appeared as the Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team in the procedural’s pilot episode.

He headed the crew as they handled some of the Navy’s most serious cr1minal cases and violent stand-offs.

While a strong commander, Gibbs also served as a father figure to other agents, especially Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), and rapidly became a fan favorite.

However, in 2003, executives faced the “challenging” decision of who would play the lead part, with a number of Hollywood A-listers being considered.

Casting director Susan Bluestein revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, “Casting was very difficult.”

“In 1991, I cast Mark Harmon as John Dillinger in a movie of the week, and he was fantastic.

“Mark had been on my NCIS radar since the beginning. “I always thought Mark had the gravitas for this character.”

Peter Golden recalled on the former’s casting at CBS: “Susan said, ‘What about Mark Harmon?'” Everyone thought, ‘We’ll make an offer to Mark Harmon, and if we don’t get him, let’s go through the list of who else we could acquire.'”

“Mark had a meeting with Don Bellisario, and they hit it off, and Mark agreed to do it,” Peter added. The program suddenly became considerably more important in my mind.”

While the showrunners were initially impressed by Harmon, the character of Gibbs could have gone to another actor.


According to executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson, “Harrison Ford was a name that everybody thought about for Gibbs because he was so perfect.”

But I don’t think it ever got much further than throwing out a name.

While the casting director stated that she didn’t “remember Harrison Ford,” she did identify the other actors they considered.

“There were names like Alec Baldwin, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Kevin Bacon, Tom Berenger, Val Kilmer, Charlie Sheen, Aidan Quinn, and Patrick Swayze,” Susan explained.

“We made no offers to those people.” “We just looked into it,” the showrunner added.

Although Mark eventually stepped away from the role in season 19, the years he spent as Gibbs left an indelible impression on longstanding fans, who were overtaken with emotion during his goodbye episode, Great Wide Open.

Related News – Be sure to get some more news when it comes to NCIS.

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