NCIS: Origins Gives Leroy Jethro Gibbs An Even Better Chance At Breaking An NCIS Franchise Record

Mark Harmon as Gibbs wearing a black cap in NCIS


  • NCIS: Origins delves into Gibbs’ backstory, highlighting his early days as an NCIS agent at Camp Pendleton in 1991.
  • Gibbs and Vance are tied for the record of appearing in the most NCIS shows, showing their reach and impact in the franchise.
  • Vance may break the record again by appearing in NCIS: Sydney, solidifying his presence in five shows across the franchise.
The advent of NCIS: Origins gives Leroy Jethro Gibbs an even better chance at breaking this NCIS franchise record. The expansion series will explore Gibbs’ backstory, transporting audiences back to 1991 at Camp Pendleton – where it all started for Gibbs as an NCIS agent. Gibbs was portrayed by Mark Harmon in the flagship series and will be portrayed by Austin Stowell in the upcoming NCIS: Origins cast. His repeated presence in the NCIS universe makes him one of the most relevant characters to the franchise, even years after he departed the flagship series.

NCIS: Origins Will Feature Gibbs In A Fourth NCIS Show, Tying The Character With Leon Vance

Leroy Jethro Gibbs wearing a red shirt and a black jacket while looking seriously at someone in NCIS

NCIS: Origins will see Gibbs featured in yet another NCIS show. Gibbs’ character has been featured on the flagship, NCIS: New Orleans, and Jag. Origins will be the fourth show he has been featured in across the NCISverse. Gibbs never joined the NCIS: Los Angeles cast, but he has an interesting connection to the Los Angeles office. In NCIS season 6, episodes 22 & 23, “Legend (Part 1)” and “Legend (Part 2),” Gibbs visits the NCIS Office of Special Projects in LA, and the two-part storyline serves as the backdoor pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles.

Rocky Carroll’s Leon Vance has also appeared in four shows across the NCISverse: NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, and NCIS: Hawai’i. Leon Vance fills a massive role in the NCISverse, overseeing all the field offices, so it’s difficult for another character to measure up to his expanse (even the great Gibbs), but NCIS: Origins made it possible. That said, while Gibbs is in the running with Vance, Rocky Carroll has the distinct honor of portraying his character in every single appearance. Gibbs has been portrayed by Mark Harmon, Mark Harmon’s son, Sean Harmon, and now Austin Stowell.

Rocky Carroll as Leon Vance in NCIS

Although Gibbs is now tied with Leon Vance for being featured in the most shows in the combined NCIS universe, Vance could easily break the record again and claim the title for himself. Director Vance has been featured in every NCIS show up to this point, except for NCIS: Sydney, which premiered just last year. In the upcoming NCIS: Sydney season 2, it would be natural to include Leon Vance, and it would solidify Vance’s presence in five shows across the franchise. Vance was referenced in the Australia-based spinoff, but his appearance in the show would make it official.

Although hundreds of characters make up the NCIS franchise, few have the reach of Jethro Gibbs and Leon Vance. Gibbs and Vance both appear in four shows across the NCIS shared universe, tying them for the record of appearing in the most shows across the franchise. It’s an interesting feat because TV shows rarely see the longevity that NCIS has experienced – having been on-air for over two decades – and it’s rare for a franchise to have so many spinoffs. The unique combination provides veteran NCIS characters unique opportunities to accomplish television milestones.

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