‘NCIS’: Mark Harmon Has Just Revealed Whether or Not Gibbs Will Return in The New Season

It’s time to make room in your weekly TV schedule for NCIS. The hit CBS drama returns with Season 20 tonight, and it appears that things are already off to a rousing start, thanks to a major crossover event. However, one important character is noticeably absent from the scene – Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

McGee (Sean Murray), Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), Knight (Katarina Law), and Parker (Gary Cole), among others, will pick up the pieces from the expl0sive NCIS season 19 finale on Monday night’s premiere. Fans may recall Parker fleeing his ex-wife Vivian (Teri Polo) and requiring assistance in clearing his name. As part of the plan, the crew enlists the assistance of Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) and Ernie Malick (Jason Antoon) from NCIS: Hawai’i, who are already in town for a business meeting.

Parker says in the video, “They’re not just my team; they’re my family.”

While the season appears to be jam-packed, one actor’s absence has been felt. Mark left the show at the start of season 19 after serving as the special agent in charge since September 2003. Since then, fans have been wondering if Gibbs will return to NCIS. Despite the radio silence that followed his departure, it appears that Mark may be willing to return for one more round.

“What has always drawn me here is the character I play and keeping it fresh and challenging,” the actor said in August to Entertainment Tonight. “This character has chosen the path that it has. I thought it was honest and acceptable… I’m not done working. As far as I know, the character resides in Alaska.”

Executive producer and showrunner Steve Binder also hinted that Gibbs might return to NCIS. He wrote on the show’s Instagram in October 2021 about how Mark is still involved despite not being on-screen.

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show. Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go. So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years…never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.” -Steven D. Binder, Executive Producer/NCIS Showrunner

“As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark remains an integral part of the show’s fabric,” he said at the time. “Staying true to our characters has always been our north star, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go.” So, in terms of Gibbs’ future, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years… never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”

There is still hope! Meanwhile, as the new season 20 episodes begin to air, we have a plethora of storylines to delve into. Aside from Parker’s efforts to clear his name, Steve told TVLine that we’ll see more episodes focusing on specific characters, romances between coworkers, and possible updates on what Gibbs is up to outside of his team.

“Where Gibbs is and how we left him is a really interesting veil,” he told the outlet. “There’s this feeling among the writing staff — and I share it — that we left him somewhere between nowhere and everywhere.”

Steve went on: “For example, when I think of Gibbs, I don’t picture him in an Alaskan apartment. Instead, I imagine he’s dissolved into pixie dust and is floating around in the sky until summoned back to duty.”

We’ll just have to wait until NCIS season 20 to find out for sure.

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