NEVER SAY NEVER: Will Mark Harmon return as Leroy Jethro Gibb? 'NCIS' star says his character 'hasn't retired'

The 70-year-old opened up on his exit from the hit long-running CBS procedural while also hinting that this character was not done yet

NEVER SAY NEVER: Will Mark Harmon return as Leroy Jethro Gibb? 'NCIS' star says his character 'hasn't retired'
Mark Harmon (IMDb)
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'NCIS' star Mark Harmon was a household name for his portrayal of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The actor hung up his kevlar after 19 seasons with his character indefinitely staying in Alaska after solving a case, and was a bittersweet moment for fans. The 70-year-old opened up on his exit from the hit long-running CBS procedural while also hinting that this character was 'not retired'.

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In a special featurette on the show's season 19 DVD release, Harmon said he wanted to keep it fresh and challenging and that was the primary reason for the exit. "What has always drawn me here is the character I play and to keep it fresh and to keep it challenging. Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did. I thought it was honest and OK with." The actor, who has starred in 'NCIS' since 2003 also added that his character is "not retired" but is living in Alaska.

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Will Mark Harmon return to 'NCIS'?

The final appearance from the actor sees his character tell Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) while fishing. "I'm not going back home." And the fitting end of the episode was Harmon riding off into the sunset but following the episode, executive producer Steve Binder hinted at the door always being open for a comeback. "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," he told People in a statement.

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"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. Mark's always been part of the show, Mark's always going to be part of the show," CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl told Deadline. "In terms of his on-air appearances, we're just going to have to see how it plays out going forward."

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