Special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs isn’t hanging up his fishing pole anytime soon.
While the NCIS intro still features Mark Harmon‘s character, executive producer Steven D. Binder said there aren’t any plans to bring back the beloved star just yet. “There’s always head space for him to come back,” Binder told TV Insider following the season 19 finale on May 23. “It just has to be the right story, I think, to get him excited about it and to get us excited about it.”
Last viewers saw of Gibbs, he decided to stay in Alaska, where he and Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) were searching for a serial killer. In the October episode, Gibbs explained to McGee that he finally felt a “sense of peace” after losing his wife Shannon (Darby Stanchfield) and his daughter Kelly (Mary Mouser).
Binder acknowledged that Gibbs’ decision wasn’t as permanent as death, but it isn’t reason enough to bring back the character. As he explained, “It’s a card to play, and I don’t think we want to play it cheaply. I think when we do play it, it really needs to be the right thing.”