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NCIS sparks controversy with new comment about Mark Harmon's exit

Mark headed up the show for 18 years as Special Agent Gibbs

ncis controversy
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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NCIS fans are up in arms after the show appeared to brush over Mark Harmon's recent departure as the series lead.

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To drum up excitement for the latest episode of the naval drama, the official NCIS Instagram account posted a snap from the episode which showed McGee (Sean Murray) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) chatting in the squad room with newcomers Parker (Gary Cole) and Knight (Katrina Law). However, the post didn't go down too well with fans. In fact, within minutes, the comment section became flooded with replies from followers who took issue with the caption, which read: "The gang's all here and READY for an all new episode of #NCIS."

WATCH: NCIS star Mark Harmon shares favorite memories from set

"No, the gang is not all here. You are missing the leader that is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Stop retconning Gibbs' existence! BRING GIBBS BACK!" one upset fan wrote.

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Another echoed this, commenting: "No the gang is not all there," followed by a sad face emoji, and someone else simply wrote: "I MISS GIBBS!"

View post on Instagram

Not all fans, however, feel the same way and some left positive comments in response to the flurry of negative ones. "I'm loving this new team dynamic .....the new guys are fitting in well and the humour is back," someone wrote, while another added: "I miss Gibbs but I'm liking Parker more and more!"

Back in October, Gibbs actor Mark ended his 18-year run as the drama's lead, with his character deciding to retire from law enforcement. Gary Cole, who was introduced at the beginning of season 19 as former FBI agent Alden Parker, took over the reins as the Special Agent in charge of the team.

ncis mark© CBS

Mark headed up the show for 18 years as Special Agent Gibbs 

While Mark's character no longer leads the CBS procedural, there is a chance that viewers will see him return for the odd episode in the future.

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Showrunner Steve Binder released a statement following Mark's onscreen departure that heavily suggested Gibbs could make a comeback. It read: "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."

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