There will be no long, drawn out negotiations for NCIS star Mark Harmon. With his current deal set to expire in May, the actor has made many a television fan happy with his new two-year agreement that will guarantee a ninth (and probably tenth) season for CBS’ top-rated show.
Not long ago, the expiration of Harmon’s current contract and the subsequent questions surrounding the future of NCIS were the topic of much discussion. CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler addressed those concerns by saying, “We are very confident Mark will continue on with the show. He’s very happy, and we’re thrilled to have him.”
As it turns out, Tassler’s statement couldn’t have been more accurate. Given the ratings success NCIS has been for CBS, Harmon could easily have pulled his own version of LeBron James’ The Decision. However, instead of turning the entire renegotiation process into an arduous one, Harmon renewed his contract early, and with little fan-fare. Reportedly, CBS sweetened the pot by making the actor an executive producer on the next season or seasons of the show.
Harmon is having quite the career resurgence. According to American audiences, he isn’t just an integral part of the show, he is the nation’s favorite television personality. At 59 years old, that places the guy from Summer School above Oprah Winfrey, who is tied with Hugh Laurie (House) at No. 2, and CBS’s beleaguered star Charlie Sheen at No. 5—a spot he shares with The Daily Show’s John Stewart. Last year, Harmon was ranked No. 8 on the list.
Having its star back for another two years isn’t the only good news regarding the show. NCIS, an eight-year-old program, recently enjoyed an all-time rating high with 22.85 million viewers for its Feb. 1, 2011 episode. Those would be astonishing numbers for a new program, but for one that started as a spin-off of JAG, and was ranked fourth overall last season (it’s seventh) is just amazing. Tassler further commented on the success of NCIS by saying:
“It’s simply amazing that a show in its eighth season continues to perform at such an elite level. This is a tribute to the hard work of its talented writers, producers and cast for bringing to life such compelling stories and characters with intrigue and humor.”
NCIS can be seen Tuesdays @ 9pm on CBS.