NCIS: Why Mark Harmon Didn’t Appear in the David McCallum Tribute Episode?

The Monday (February 19) episode of NCIS was particularly remarkable because it paid tribute to the late David McCallum (aka Ducky). David died in September, at the age of 90.

Brian Dietzen, the actor who plays Jimmy Palmer, wrote the episode. This post will contain episode spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, be warned.

Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo made a guest appearance, leaving many wondering why Mark Harmon’s Gibbs was not featured as well.

Brian told The Wrap, “I believe everyone would like to see Gibbs make an appearance at some time. That is such a beloved character in television history. I’m pretty pleased with how [the scene] turned out. The way it works for Jimmy and Tony. There’s a closeness and familiarity to it.

Brian also mentioned that Mark had been in talks to return but was ultimately unable to appear due to scheduling issues.


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  1. Wow! I thought I saw him towards the end of the show! He didn’t speak, but I could swear I saw him a little before DiNozzo appeared!! Now I’m nervous! Did anyone else see him??

  2. Very disappointed that he didn’t show up. If he truly cared for Ducky he would have found a way to work around his schedule.

  3. I thought i had seen home too but I guess it was his ghost it was a great tribute to ducky he will be missed that is for sure.

  4. Mr Hamon should have made time. Even if it was taped from where he was. The memorial however was excellent. Palmer did a great job

  5. I was shocked when Mark Harmon didn’t make an appearance. He should have made time to be there as he and David played such close friends from the beginning. They didn’t even make mention as to why he wasn’t present or that he sent his condolences to the team. Even Abby was recognized by the black flower arrangement! Boo to you Gibbs!!

  6. I am good with Gibbs either way. I would have liked to see him in the show but it was a full show without him. I have no issue with what was done. It was an excellent show.

  7. It was a beautiful tribute to Ducky. Had Gibbs appeared at all,the show and discussions would have centered on Gibbs. The way the episode ended, there is the opening for and episode that might include Gibbs and Ziva and Abby and others missed down the road as a flash back. After all everything led up to the funeral, but funeral or celebration of life service not included, yet. I think it was perfect.

  8. David’s character had a very mindful chat with Mark and he fully understood why he choose to leave. I do not understand why so many are down on him as a real person because you do not no the real reasons.

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