Should This Be the Final Season of ‘NCIS’? (POLL)

NCIS Season 20 key art
CBS

If you’d asked us two years ago, we would’ve said that there was no way NCIS would continue without Mark Harmon, that his farewell episode as Leroy Jethro Gibbs would have to be either the series finale or at the very least in the last season. But then Harmon exited in Season 19 Episode 4, with Gibbs staying behind in Alaska after wrapping a case. The series has carried on without him and also continued to be a success. (Sure, the ratings aren’t what they used to be, with also a night change, but it’s still a hit.)

The drama dealt with the question of whether Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), the senior most agent on the team, would take over. (He decided he didn’t want to.) Alden Parker (Gary Cole), a transfer from the FBI after he helped while Gibbs was technically a fugitive, joined the team as the new leader. Following Emily Wickersham’s exit in Season 18, Katrina Law’s Jessica Knight transferred after a tragedy involving her REACT team.

All in all, NCIS has been handling its post-Gibbs era the best way it can — and that has opened up the show for the exploration of what his exit means for those he left behind particularly Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), who has been in therapy. No, it’s not the same anymore, especially considering all the other cast changes over the years, but the past year’s worth of episodes has shown that that’s OK. There are still plenty of cases for the team to solve, new backstories to explore with the additions, and fresh areas to explore with all, and it all makes for an hour of TV worth tuning in for each week.

“We hired a fantastic writer named Marco Schnabel a couple years ago and he was asking me, ‘When are we gonna get our pickup?’ And half-jokingly, I said this to him, but also half-seriously, ‘What do you mean the pickup? There has always been NCIS, there will always be NCIS,” executive producer Steven D. Binder told TV Insider last spring. “And that’s just how we feel. Now that may not be, but when it’s been 20 years, it’s hard to imagine that this year will be the year it ends. So, if people keep watching, we’re gonna keep making the show, and people keep watching.”

He continued, “I just don’t ever see this show ending. I think if we keep telling good stories, I think the show keeps going.” He did know that having Harmon exit was a test. “It’s really astounding. I was hopeful — because I had to be, and it’s so not my nature — that we would still manage to keep going without Gibbs,” he shared. “We’ve lost a lot of people, but Gibbs is Gibbs, is this the one that’s gonna break us? And it wasn’t.”

However, NCIS, like all shows, can’t last forever. So while we would say that Season 20 shouldn’t necessarily be its last, when might it be a sign that it’s time for it to say goodbye? We’d make the argument when Murray leaves, given he’s the only team member left who had a significant role in Season 1. McGee was introduced in Episode 7 (“Sub Rosa”) as the probie, and we’ve since watched him grow into senior field agent. (He was upped to series regular in Season 2.)

David McCallum has been with NCIS as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard since the two-part backdoor pilot on JAG but has since stepped back into a reduced role. Brian Dietzen’s Dr. Jimmy Palmer is now the Chief Medical Examiner. He, too, was introduced in the first season, though he only appeared in the last three episodes.

But what do you think? Should Season 20 be NCIS‘ last? Let us know in the poll below.

NCIS, Mondays, 9/8c, CBS