It's clear from all accounts that, like his character, Mark Harmon is at the heart of the show, creating a good atmosphere on set that does come across in the finished product.
Behind the scenes, there've been a few dramas, of course, but Cote de Pablo's unexpected departure at the start of the 11th year was one of the few that really affected the show in a way viewers saw.
"True to form, they have to go through a debriefing and all of that, which includes a psychological evaluation if they're ready to go back to work.
"And then we go to the main title and then we come back and it's two months later."It turns out that Gibbs and Mc Gee will be stuck in Paraguay for far longer than we imaged, leaving the rest of the NCIS team (led by Bishop) to hold down the fort back in the United States, all the while wondering if their friends are even still alive.
But even once Gibbs and Mc Gee return from abroad, they'll have to deal with the far-reaching consequences of the ordeal."There'll be lasting effects.
You can still catch reruns featuring Michael Weatherly's Tony Di Nozzo, the Riker to Gibbs' Picard for the first 12 years, whose "will-they-won't-they" relationship with Cote de Pablo's Israeli agent Ziva David ended with Ziva bearing his child off screen, before she was killed off.
Completing the team is Sean Murray's Tim Mc Gee: the geeky one, originally the "probie" newcomer (short for "probationary special agent",) but now the trusted right-hand man.
But there's another similarly acronym-ed procedural now in its 15th season, one which has inspired two long-running spin-offs and consistently tops the American ratings for scripted shows.
Yet ask most people under the age of 50 about Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 1986!
More often than not the bad guy will be someone you've sort of half-noticed during the second act – they play fair with their viewers and don't usually pull the 'you wouldn't have had a clue how to solve this' trick.
Most seasons have some form of overarching plot – there have been serial killers and terrorist cells whose actions have informed multiple episodes – and there are always a few more off-the-wall episodes that focus more on the characters than the investigation.
“It is true that I am leaving after this season,” Perette revealed the shocking news on Twitter. I hope everyone will love and enjoy EVERYTHING ABBY not only for the rest of this season, but for everything she has given all of us for 16 years.” character thanks to her jet-black pigtails and odd love affair with chokers.
Her exit hits hard, especially since her rapport with Gibbs is a central part of the series and often serves as its emotional core. Will you start sporting some pigtails in Abby’s honor?
star David Mc Callum; and Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto, the Goth forensic scientist who's dedicated to the team and drinking as much Caf-Pow!