When it comes to TV procedurals, there are several franchises that have dominated our screens for decades. While the "Law & Order," "CSI," and "Chicago One" franchises have focused on big city cops, "NCIS" has the unique angle of following the military to set it apart from its rivals. What's interesting about it is that the first series in the saga is actually a spin-off, growing out of the Navy legal drama "JAG." When "NCIS" became even bigger, spin-offs of that show soon followed, each with their own roster of special agents played by a who's who of veteran TV stars.
The "NCIS" shows have featured some of the finest ensemble casts on television. While they've largely been led by established actors, each show has helped bring through new talent, making big names out of the likes of Pauley Perrette and Michael Weatherly. Just about every major cast member can count their roles in the "NCIS" universe among their best, but they all have something in their past that they likely want us to never look back on. Here are some early roles that "NCIS" actors would probably like you to forget about.
As Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Mark Harmon starred in the flagship series "NCIS" for an astonishing 18 seasons, departing a few episodes into its 19th year. So identified is Harmon with the hit CBS procedural that some audiences may not even remember the days when he starred in the likes "St. Elsewhere" on television, and in cult comedy classics like "Summer School" in the '80s. In 1991, Harmon appeared in a thriller that landed with a thud, titled "Cold Heaven."
Based on a 1983 novel by Brian Moore, the film tells the story of Marie (Theresa Russell), who is planning to leave her husband Alex (Harmon) for Daniel (James Russo). But when Alex is killed in a boating mishap and somehow returns from the dead vomiting blood, Marie seeks the help of a local priest for answers. A complicated murder scheme, a confusing religious mystery, and an inexplicable wrap-up later, and you're left with a movie that will have you scratching your head, wondering how it ever got made.
Audiences were confused by what the movie was trying to say about love, loss, infidelity, and, well, anything at all. For all its weighty themes and powerful imagery it doesn't seem to be saying much at all. In the end it was a total flop and a forgotten failure — and Harmon probably wants to keep it that way.