NCIS boss reveals the actual reason Mark Harmon earned the 'difficult' Gibbs position

In honor of NCIS' 20th anniversary, the CBS show's executives reflected on the show's early days

 and explained why veteran star Mark Harmon was cast as the beloved Gibbs.

Gibbs originally appeared as the Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team in the procedural's pilot episode.

He headed the crew as they handled some of the Navy's most serious criminal cases and violent stand-offs.

While a strong commander, Gibbs also served as a father figure to other agents, especially Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama),

However, in 2003, executives faced the "challenging" decision of who would play the lead part,

with a number of Hollywood A-listers being considered.Casting director Susan Bluestein revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, "Casting was very difficult."

"In 1991, I cast Mark Harmon as John Dillinger in a movie of the week, and he was fantastic.

"Mark had been on my NCIS radar since the beginning. "I always thought Mark had the gravitas for this character."

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