How Mark Harmon’s NCIS Exit Impacted This Character

Photo via NCIS Instagram

How Mark Harmon’s NCIS Exit Impacted This Character

By Movieguide® Contributor

NCIS star Sean Murray recently reflected on how his character, Timothy McGee, changed direction after Mark Harmon left the show.

Almost a year and a half after Harmon’s exit as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Murray shared how McGee has progressed from a rookie to a more experienced agent.

Murray shared, “He’s definitely a lot more sure of himself than he used to be and capable of doing so much more than he used to be.”

“Our writers, we’ve got our guys that have stuck with us for so long, and they know this character just about as well as I do,” he added. “So it kind of comes naturally with the material, the way the character has grown over the years, and I’ve grown as an actor over the years doing that character.”

“I think it’s kind of cool that I’ve played one character for 20-plus years,” Murray expressed. “I don’t think there’s a lot of actors that get the privilege of doing that.”

He shared how growth has always been integral to this character.

“I remember talking to the writers early on about this, like, I don’t want to be baby Maggie Simpson. I don’t want to be the same character every single week and never grow. And they were very into the growth of the character,” he said.

While Harmon’s exit impacted McGee, Murray has seen the change as “a natural thing, and fun to do.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Harmon’s exit: 

After 18 seasons, Mark Harmon officially bid farewell to his lead role on the CBS staple NCIS.

“I’m not going back, Tim,” Harmon’s Gibbs said in the Oct. 11 episode, signaling his departure. “I’m not going back home.”

Harmon’s exit should not shock fans, as many media outlets, including Movieguide®, have reported on the speculation for more than a year.

However, just because Harmon will no longer be a series regular does not mean fans won’t see him again.

“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. 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,” said Steven D. Binder, NCIS executive producer/showrunner.

Furthermore, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl stated, “Mark’s always been part of the show, Mark’s always going to be part of the show. 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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