As we’ve guessed before, NCIS season 19 has the potential for a bit less of Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs than in past seasons. Doubt ran rampant as to whether if the star would reunite, and when it was announced he was coming back it came with no guarantees of how much time onscreen he’d agreed to.
Fresh out of Variety, we’ve got word of NCIS looking to bring in another heavy-hitter who might very well serve a practical role that fills a portion of the time Harmon spent on camera. That actor is none other than Gary Cole, which the outlet reports is”in discussions for a major role” in the upcoming season, according to its sources.
While Cole is best known to some for his comedic work as Lumbergh, the doofy boss from Office Space, he’s had a solid streak in dramatic shows as of late, with The Good Wife and The fantastic Fight. Most recently, he has been at the sitcom Mixed-ish.
The same sources notice that NCIS may be hiring new faces to the main cast of the show, so it looks as though they’re seeking to build a roster of new characters to carry up on-screen time.
Why would Harmon be spending time on-screen? Well, that might have been a stipulation or clause in his contract after he re-signed together with the series. The celebrity was supposed to be considering stepping down in the function, which reports say led CBS to say the series wouldn’t continue without him.
And the NCIS season 18 finale gave the show a large out for a lifetime with less Gibbs. While tracking a serial killer on his rule 91′ ship (his vessel called after saying goodbye), that vessel did indeed say farewell since it was blown to bits.
Gibbs’ body surfaced, floating until he swam off without attracting anyone’s attention. The two-step nature of the sequence, both Gibbs drifting and going away in secrecy, makes it look like the series had footage from the can in case Gibbs died (if the discussions did not go well).
But if Gibbs is hoping to make it seem as if he died, to throw the killer off his path, spending some of season 19 in concealing makes sense. And when he is hiding, that gives the show an easy way to describe why he is not in each episode.
NCIS is changing more than simply its cast next season. The show is exiting its long-held 8 pm Tuesday time slot for 9 p.m. on Mondays.