Mark Harmon Removed From NCIS Opening Credits Nearly a Year After Exit

Mark Harmon Removed From NCIS Opening Credits Nearly a Year After Exit

It's the end of an era.

Mark Harmon has finally been removed from NCIS' opening credits 11 months after his departure from the hit CBS series. The star, who played Leroy Jethro Gibbs, was in the title sequence for the entirety of season 19, despite the fact that he exited the series four episodes into the season.

Gibbs had decided that he was ready for a break from the high-stakes job, choosing to stay in Alaska where he'll spend his days fishing. As Gibbs explained to Sean Murray's character McGee, it was the one place where he finally "felt a sense of peace" following the death of his wife Shannon (Darby Stanchfield) and his daughter Kelly (Mary Mouser).

McGee has now stepped up to the plate in Gibbs' absence and is the first character in the opening credits. He's followed in the title sequence by co-stars Wilmer Valderrama, Katrina Law, Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover, David McCallum, Rocky Carroll and Gary Cole.

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Of course, there's always a chance that Gibbs could come back to the force given that he's still alive. But don't expect him to hang up the fishing pole anytime soon, as executive producer Steven D. Binder said the writers behind the show are saving that for a special occasion, if ever. "It's a card to play, and I don't think we want to play it cheaply," Binder told TV Insider in May. "I think when we do play it, it really needs to be the right thing."

Mark Harmon, NCIS
Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

While there are no plans for Gibbs to return from Alaska, Binder said the team will continue making references to the agent. "Gibbs put his stamp on the team in a huge way, and it's gonna take more than a year for that to fade," Binder explained. "I wouldn't want it to fade because if I can't have Gibbs, I still love having his presence in there."

NCIS airs Mondays on CBS.

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