CBS’s Kelly Kahl on the Future of Mark Harmon’s “NCIS”

One of the biggest cliffhangers ahead of this next broadcast season involves Mark Harmon NCIS Special Agent Gibbs character who was last seen swimming after being thrown into the water by an explosion on his new boat. But even more suspenseful than Gibbs’ fate was the future screen presence of Harmon who titled NCIS since its launch 18 years ago. He’s also executive producer of the venerable procedural drama, which returns for its 19th season on September 20 in its new 9 p.m. Monday slot.

In an interview related to CBS’s TCA presentation, Deadline asked the network’s entertainment president, Kelly Kahl, the extent of Harmon’s on-screen involvement next season and if this could be his final season. in the show or NCIS ‘ last season. He wouldn’t confirm the number of Harmon episodes in this upcoming season, rumored to be just a handful.

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“Mark has always been a part of the show, Mark will always be a part of the show,” Kahl said. “As far as his on-air appearances go, we’ll just have to see how that plays out in the future.”

As for NCIS ‘ Late in the game, Kahl indicated that it was too early to discuss the packaging of one of CBS’s veteran series this coming season before executives saw how the network’s new shows work.

Speculation about Harmon’s potential departure as a series regular amid a reduction in his on-screen duties has been further fueled by the recent addition of Gary Cole as a new series regular, playing a new character, Special Agent Park.

CBS has a proven track record in pursuing a successful and long-standing crime drama proceeding with a new lead, including on CSI, which saw William Petersen succeed Laurence Fishburne and then Ted Danson, all playing different characters.

“We take it year after year with Mark, we would love to have him as long as he would like to be here,” Kahl told Deadline in May. “Even in the last season, he could have been light in a few [episodes], so we are happy to work around his schedule.

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