Longtime character actor Gary Cole was recently announced as having joined the cast of NCIS, and a new report indicated there’s worry he might replace Mark Harmon. Earlier this year, it was announced that Cole would be part of the show’s upcoming 19th season. Now, according to Gossip Cop, Harmon may reportedly be concerned that Cole is there to be his replacement.
The outlet cited a National Enquirer report wherein a source close to the show stated that Harmon was not dealing “very well” with Cole being on-set. “Everyone knows Mark is burnt out and wants more balance in his life, but he’s not handling having another silver fox on the set very well,” the source said. The situation seems that Harmon “wanted less screen time,” so Cole was cast to help make up the difference between what the story calls for and what Harmon wants to do.
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) June 24, 2021
A source stated that Cole joining the show felt like “a major coup… meanwhile, Mark’s a bit of a prima donna who doesn’t socialize with many people on the set.” The source added that Cole being brought in gives everyone, including Harmon, an idea of where the show could go if Harmon decides to exit fully. Cole, the source says, would “be a fool not to seize the opportunity, and everyone thinks he will and should.” It should be noted that NCIS producers have publicly stated that Cole’s character, FBI Special Agent Alden Park, is not intended to be a replacement for Harmon’s NCIS special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Most TV fans will be most familiar with Cole from Veep, Mixed-ish, and Chicago Fire. However, Cole has had several notable film roles, starring in movies like Office Space, Pineapple Express, and Mike Brady in mid-90s Brady Bunch reboot films: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) and its follow-up, A Very Brady Sequel (1996). The franchise later produced a made-for-TV film, The Brady Bunch in the White House, in which Cole reprised his role.
In addition to his live-action roles, Cole has lent his voice to several animated projects, including Family Guy, Kim Possible, and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. He was also the voice of Harvey Birdman in Adult Swim’s Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. NCIS Season 19 is currently set to debut on Sept. 20 on CBS.