'NCIS' Renewed for Season 16 as Mark Harmon Inks New Deal to Return

Harmon, sources say, received a salary bump that will keep him among the highest-paid actors on the small screen.
Courtesy of CBS
Mark Harmon on 'NCIS'

NCIS is staying put at CBS.

Star Mark Harmon has inked a new deal with producers CBS Television Studios to return to the veteran procedural, triggering a one-season renewal with the network.

The pickup extends NCIS to its 16th season. The two-year deal is Harmon's third with the series overall as he remains the show's leading man and executive producer. Harmon, sources say, received a salary bump that will keep him among the highest-paid actors on the small screen. A September 2017 Forbes survey found that Harmon earned $19 million a year from the series, placing him seventh overall and the fifth highest-paid male behind Big Bang Theory stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar.

"It's pretty simple — viewers everywhere love NCIS," CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said Friday in a statement. "This show speaks to viewers of all ages, in all parts of the country and around the world. NCIS' amazing characters and terrific storytelling result in some of TV's most passionate fans. Of course, none of this would be possible without an outstanding production team, and talented cast led by the incomparable and absolutely tireless Mark Harmon. We're thrilled he is returning as the centerpiece of the show, and we could not be more excited for NCIS' 16th season."

Harmon is the cornerstone of the NCIS franchise, which, while it hasn't been the true powerhouse it once was for some time (down another 15 percent this season), remains broadcast's No. 3 series among total viewers. With live-plus-7 lifts, the latest season boasts an average audience of 17 million and a solid 2.2 rating among adults 18-49. NCIS is one of the top five most-watched shows on broadcast.

In addition to starring, Harmon also exec produces the flagship and two spinoffs — NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans — which both remain dependable performers on CBS' schedule. 

Harmon's deal to return comes as NCIS is poised to lose one of its original stars after Pauley Perrette announced she would exit at the end of the show's current 15th season. With Perrette and Michael Weatherly's exit two years ago, the only original series regulars remaining on NCIS are Harmon and David McCallum. NCIS this season signed a three-year deal with Maria Bello and added Wilmer Valderrama last year.

NCIS becomes the latest CBS series to score a renewal for the 2018-19 broadcast season. It joins all three Chuck Lorre comedies — Mom, The Big Bang Theory and its spinoff Young Sheldon — as well as SEAL Team, SWAT and the recently announced Dick Wolf straight-to-series drama FBI and the 13-episode Murphy Brown revival.

Harmon is repped by Paradigm and attorney Barry Axelrod.