It's time to put away his service weapon for Special Agent Gibbs.

Actor Mark Harmon, who has played him for eighteen years, has decided to move on.

The character made his 2003



before launching


, CBS's longest-running series.

Still, the actor, who is also an executive producer of NCIS, isn't totally saying goodbye to the franchise.

As the showrunner, Steven D. Blinder, explained in a statement relayed by the

Hollywood Reporter

, it "continues to be an integral part of the making of the show".

What future

The door is therefore open if ever Mark Harmon decides to take over the team of special agents made up of Wilmer Valderrama or Sean Murray, who plays Timothy McGee.

In the series, Gibbs chooses to stay in Alaska, where he was hunting down a hitman.

"When it comes to Gibbs' future, as longtime fans of the show have seen time and time again, nothing is ever ruled out with Leroy Jethro Gibbs," concludes Steven D. Blinder.

Comments confirmed by the president of CBS Entertainment, Kelly Kahl.

"As far as his screen appearances go, we'll see how it goes," she told Deadline, adding that "Mark has always been a part of the show and always will be."


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