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Could the return of two fan-favorite characters to the NCIS universe mean more familiar faces might soon be making an appearance in the CBS franchise? Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David will be the focus of a new Paramount+ spinoff. But what about Gibbs and Abby, two other much-loved characters from the long-running series? In a recent interview, CBS execs commented on whether former NCIS stars Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette might somebody make their way back into the NCIS fold. 

The door is ‘always open’ to Mark Harmon at ‘NCIS’

Gibbs in a suit sitting in court in 'NCIS"
Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs | Bill Inoshita/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs character was the heart and soul of NCIS for 18 years. So, when the actor left the CBS show early in season 19, it came as a major blow to fans. Ever since his departure, loyal viewers have been wondering if Gibbs might someday make his way back to the NCIS team. 

Should Harmon decide to return, NCIS would be happy to have him, CBS Entertainment president Amy Resienbach recently told Deadline

“The door for Mark is always open, It’s really up to him,” she said. 

Could the older Gibbs – who is now retired and living in Alaska – make an appearance in the upcoming prequel series NCIS: Origins? Harmon is an executive producer on that show and will serve as its narrator. But fans shouldn’t tune in expecting to see him onscreen, Reisenbach said.  

“In terms of flash-forwards, I don’t think it’s something we’ve talked about, that doesn’t feel like the DNA of that show to me, at least right now,” she said. “But you never know, when we’re in season 10, we’re taking creative risks and having fun. So if that’s something [writers] Gina [Monreal] and David [North] wanted to tackle down the road, we’d be open to it.”

CBS execs weigh in on the idea of an Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) spinoff 

Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray looking at a computer screen in 'NCIS'
[L-R] Duane Henry, Sean Murray, and Pauley Perrette in ‘NCIS” | Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

‘NCIS: Origins’ Will Be ‘Edgier and Grittier’ Than Other ‘NCIS’ Shows

Harmon’s NCIS exit was preceded by another major departure in 2018, when Perrette decided it was time to move on. Perrette had played the quirky forensic scientist Abby Sciuto for 15 seasons. She left the show amid rumors of conflict between her and Harmon

In the show, Abby decided to leave NCIS and start a charity in London honoring the MI6 agent who saved her life. That leaves open the possibility that she could someday come back to the show. While there are no plans for Perrette to appear on NCIS or in a spinoff of her own, CBS Studios president David Stapf said her return was “not a bad idea.” 

“We haven’t talked about it or thought about it,” he said. “We love Pauley, and she’s always welcome in any of the NCIS franchise, but it hasn’t come to us from the writers and/or from her. I kind of was kidding when I said, it’s not a bad idea but it’s genuinely not a bad idea, she was a beloved character.”

Could Tony and Ziva return to ‘NCIS’?  

Two actors who are confirmed to return to NCIS universe are Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo. The pair are set to star in a Tony-and-Ziva-focused spinoff for Paramount+. Is there any chance they might return to the original show? Weatherly recently made a cameo in season 21’s David McCallum tribune episode and future appearances haven’t been ruled out. 

“There could be [a crossover],” Stapf said. However, nothing is definite at this point. “We’re not there yet, writers room just started on Tony and Ziva.” 

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