Entertainment

NCIS renewed for 19th season with Mark Harmon returning

NCIS fans rejoice! Crime drama gets renewed for its 19th season with star Mark Harmon set to return

The hit CBS show NCIS has been renewed for a 19th season with star Mark Harmon returning as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. 

The Hollywood Reporter broke the good news on Thursday, hopefully quelling fans’ concerns about the show’s future.

Plans to renew NCIS had been up in the air for months following reports in February that Harmon, 69, intended to leave his role.

Staying on: The hit CBS show NCIS has been renewed for a 19th season with star Mark Harmon returning as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. From the show’s 14th season in 2016

After playing the lead character for 18 years, the actor was reportedly planning to retire from the show. 

Then CBS told Harmon and the executive producer that if he departed, they would  probably cancel the series.

Upon hearing that, the actor started negotiations to return, though it’s unclear whether he will come back full-time or appear in a limited number of episodes.

Ultimatum: Mark was reportedly ready to hang up  his NCIS hat when CBS told him they would probably cancel the show if he left. From season 17 in 2020

Ultimatum: Mark was reportedly ready to hang up  his NCIS hat when CBS told him they would probably cancel the show if he left. From season 17 in 2020

Fans just can’t get enough of the action drama which is ranked as TV’s most watched series and attracts an average of 12 million viewers per episode. 

Season 17 and 18 were cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic and it isn’t currently known how many episodes there will be in season  19.

The series may eventually edge out three shows in the Law & Order franchise to become television’s longest running show. The present title holder is Law & Order: SVU which is going on 23 seasons.

Smash hit: Fans just can't get enough of the action drama which is ranked as TV's most watched series and attracts an average of 12 million viewers per episode.

Smash hit: Fans just can’t get enough of the action drama which is ranked as TV’s most watched series and attracts an average of 12 million viewers per episode.

However, NCIS is also the most expensive show to produce on the CBS network so its cancellation remains an ongoing consideration.

Its devotees will most likely breathe a sigh of relief when they hear Harmon is reprising his role.

NCIS enthusiasts already had to bear the loss of Abby Sciuto, the cheerful Goth forensic scientist played by Paulette Perrette. The actress exited the series at the end of the 15th season in 2018. 

Cote de Pablo, who left the show in 2013, has already returned several times to play her much-loved character Ziva David.

After playing Senior NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo for 13 seasons, fan favorite Michael Weatherly departed in 2016 to star in the CBS legal drama series Bull. 

Teamwork: Michael Weatherly, Mark Harmon and Cote de Pablo take on a North Korean assassin in season 7's 'Endgame' which aired in 2009

Teamwork: Michael Weatherly, Mark Harmon and Cote de Pablo take on a North Korean assassin in season 7’s ‘Endgame’ which aired in 2009

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