With both NCIS and the Los Angeles spinoff both in double digits (the 19th and 13th seasons, respectively), and after New Orleans wrapped in 2021, we can't help but wonder which remaining long-running show in the franchise will be the first to say goodbye (as much as we hate to think about it).
NCIS, for example, has already seen Mark Harmon exit (from on-screen, continuing as an executive producer) this season, and honestly, it had gotten to the point that we expected his last episode also to be the series'. (We do think we'll see Leroy Jethro Gibbs back for the series finale, whenever that happens.)
Gary Cole has come in as Alden Parker, taking over as team leader (after Sean Murray's Tim McGee didn't want the job), and sure, the show can continue with this new configuration for a while. So far, Parker, McGee, Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), and Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) are working well together. But it's just not the same. And it really is likely a question of how long CBS wants to continue NCIS without Harmon as the lead. Part of a season, after his exit, is one thing. But will the drama head into a season without Harmon on board for at least part of it?
With NCIS: LA the next longest-running of the franchise — and in double digits — we have to think about its longevity. Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell) have already talked about training the next generation of agents to be like them (and that's where Caleb Castille's Devin Rountree comes in). Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) have talked numerous times about what having a baby (they're looking to adopt) means with their dangerous jobs. Fatima Namazi (Medalion Rahimi) has shown that she can do the job in Ops and out in the field.
Callen continues to learn more and more about his past. Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is even dealing with something from her past on this classified mission of hers.
While NCIS has had turnover with the team, LA hasn't, not since Deeks joined at the end of Season 1 as the LAPD liaison, so it's hard to imagine the series continuing without any of them, even if they are setting up the next generation to take over.