'NCIS': Best Fan Reactions to Mark Harmon Stepping Down as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

NCIS is one of CBS’ most popular crime dramas. Since its debut in 2003, the show has undergone many changes involving the cast. In recent years, actors such as Cote de Pablo, Michael Weatherly, and Pauley Perrette exited the show. Now another big showrunner is added to the list. After 18 years of playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Mark Harmon is leaving the famous role.

‘NCIS’ fans react to Mark Harmon’s departure

It was only a matter of time before viewers would have to say goodbye to Gibbs. That moment came on the Oct. 11 episode. The team finished an investigation in Alaska when Gibbs told Tim McGee (Sean Murray), “I’m not going back.” Gibbs decided it was time to end his career and search for his next venture.

It was an emotional night for NCIS fans, who couldn’t believe it was the last time they’d see Gibbs. According to TVInsider.com, fans immediately flooded Twitter with their reactions. “I am grateful to Mark Harmon for the years he dedicated to @NCIS_CBS,” wrote one viewer. Meanwhile, another commenter had misgiving about Gibbs’ departure. “If this is a setup for a possible #Gibbs exit, I’m calling it now; it’ll be the end of #NCIS.”

Gary Cole to replace Mark Harmon?

With Harmon making his exit, NCIS producers were left with a big void to fill. But they might have found a suitable replacement in Gary Cole. Cole made his debut earlier this year as FBI Special Agent Alden Parker. The character was brought in to help the team track a serial killer named Paul Lemere (Jason Wiles).

Although nothing’s been made official yet, fans believe Cole will take over Harmon’s spot. The move is sparking mixed reactions from fans on Twitter. “I’m really not liking this new character,” wrote one viewer. “I fully don’t trust this Parker guy. He’s got ‘working with the bad guy’ written all over his face,” another commenter chimed in.

Mark Harmon will still be part of ‘NCIS’

Although fans bid farewell to Harmon, he’s still going to be a huge part of the show. Aside from starring in, he also serves as executive producer. Harmon will continue his behind-the-scenes duties, but if he’ll reprise his role as Gibbs, it’s a possibility. NCIS producer Steve Binder teased future appearances from Harmon, “As long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years…never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.”

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