The actor reportedly agreed to return when told the show would be canceled if he left.
CBS has kept fans on the edge waiting to hear if NCIS was canceled, but today it emerged that the network has decided to renew the long-running procedural drama series for a 19 season, but there may be some changes. Addressing a potential NCIS Season 19, there was a question as to whether the star Mark Harmon would go back. The actor’s contract ended after season 18 ended, and CBS just canceled the spin-off. NCIS: New Orleans after seven seasons.
But THR reports that Harmon was told that if he decided not to return for NCIS Season 19, CBS would probably cancel the show. Given that kind of ultimatum, and not wanting to leave his co-workers or fans hanging, Harmon decided to renew his contract and return for season 19, which is ultimately why CBS is revamping the series.
However, it is unclear if Harmon will return for all the episodes of NCIS Season 19. One option that was raised during the negotiation process was for the actor to return for a limited number of episodes, which would push Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs into a more supporting role. It’s unclear if that’s the case, and it’s also unclear how long NCIS Season 19 will be. Previous seasons of the show were traditionally 24 episodes long, but the pandemic shortened both Season 17 (which was 20 episodes) and the current Season 18, which will conclude after just 16 episodes. Then it is possible NCIS Season 19 also has a limited number of episodes.
If you’re wondering why CBS would cancel a hit show like NCIS If Harmon had decided to leave, TV shows get a lot more expensive the longer they are on the air. So while NCIS continues to be a ratings success for the network, the actors, writers and producers are making more money with each subsequent season. For now, though, it appears the show is profitable enough with Harmon on board for CBS to continue.
NCIS premiered in 2003, right after CBS released the smash hit CSI which later spawned a host of other procedural-type mystery crime shows. Harmon has been with the series since its inception, and he’s been in this job for 19 years in a row, so it’s hard to blame him if he’s looking out the door. For now, however, fans can rest easy knowing that Gibbs will return for NCIS Season 19, and indeed there will be to be to Season 19.
And despite the cancellation of NCIS: New Orleans, a new spin-off NCIS: Hawaii is currently in process while NCIS: Los Angeles is awaiting news on whether it will be renewed for a thirteenth season.
The end of season 18 of NCIS airs on CBS on May 25.
The 10-episode limited series premieres May 14 on Amazon.
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