Mark Harmon and Sean Murray Worked Together a Decade Before 'NCIS'

NCIS stars Mark Harmon and Sean Murray are in their 18th season of working together on the popular CBS procedural. During their years playing Agents Leroy Gibbs and Tim McGee, there has been an interesting parallel between the show and real life.

Murray says that Harmon has been a mentor for him as an actor, just like Gibbs has taught a few things to McGee.

Sean Murray credits Mark Harmon for the success of ‘NCIS’

The cast and crew of NCIS recently hit a major milestone when they aired the 400th episode of the crime drama. It is extremely rare for a scripted series to last this long, and Murray credits Harmon for the show’s success.

“We wouldn’t be here, 16 years later, if it wasn’t for Harmon,” Murray told Country Living in 2019. “Harmon is a very special individual.”

Murray describes Harmon as “a real actor” who “goes for the realness of it, the truth of it.” He says that every actor strives to do that. “Boy, is he good at it,” Murray says of Harmon.

Harmon has been front and center as the star of NCIS since the pilot episode in 2003. Murray also appeared in the first season as a recurring character before joining the cast full-time in season 2.

At this point, Murray says he is so familiar with McGee that he can switch it “on and off.” He says that how he’s approached the character has evolved as the series has evolved. He started out with some ideas and backstory for the character, and now it’s all about “vibing it out” and finding his way through it.

Sean Murray and Mark Harmon worked together ten years before ‘NCIS’

When Murray was just 15 he was on a show called Harts of the West. The 90s Western was supposed to have an episode that featured Jeff Bridges. But due to a scheduling conflict, they had to find someone else to come in and play a “drunken radio clown.”

“And they got Harmon to come and do the part instead… which I’ll never forget. That’s where I first met Harmon. And he made an impression on me even back then,” Murray recalls.

The actor told the ladies of The Talk in 2017 that he remembers Harmon making “such an impression” on him when he was a young teenager. He says that they didn’t spend a lot of time together in the episode. But, when Murray came to NCIS, he says that Harmon remembered him “after all those years.”

CBS has delayed season 18 again

As fans know, the beginning of season 18 began with a shocking cold open that featured Gibbs shooting McGee twice while he was trying to stop a plane from taking off. But after those opening few minutes, the show has yet to revisit that storyline because they jumped back in time to the past.

It’s been a challenge getting season 18 on the air in the middle of the pandemic. The cast and crew wasn’t able to go to work until September, which pushed back the premiere into November.

Then, after the first two episodes aired, CBS skipped a week before airing episode 3. Now, according to Express, Season 18, Episode 4 titled “Sunburn”  won’t air until next year.

There are also conflicting reports about the actual date of the show’s return. Some reports claim it will happen on Tuesday, January 5, while others say it will be a week later on January 12. Either way, CBS will be airing classic episodes in the meantime.

New episodes of NCIS return to CBS in January 2021.

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