NCIS’ Nick Torres star pays touching tribute to Mark Harmon as show hits key milestone

On Monday, CBS’ long-running drama NCIS hit a major milestone with the release of its 450th episode. As the cast celebrated the achievement, actor Wilmer Valderrama paid tribute to Mark Harmon for his work on the show as Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

After NCIS premiered in 2003, the procedural drama reached a rare milestone in TV history with the premiere of its 450th episode.

While this was a huge achievement for the cast and crew, it was business as usual for the beloved agents.

The episode Usual Suspects focused on family and saw the return of Alden Parker’s (played by Gary Cole) father.

Ahead of its release, NCIS’ main cast members opened up about the show being on air for 20 years.



NCIS: Gibbs and Torres

NCIS: Torres was felt abandoned after Gibbs left (Image: CBS)

NCIS: Gibbs

NCIS: Gibbs decided to stay in Alaska (Image: CBS)

Speaking on the milestone, Wilmer stated: “It’s also a big tribute to Mark Harmon, who led this beautifully for hundreds of episodes.

“And was able to lead this boat with integrity and the value set that it still performs today.

“Then come full circle, all of us coming in and being disruptive enough to continue to reinvent it for the audience.

“So there’s a recipe of things that have to really go right in order for you to get to 450.”

NCIS: Gibbs

NCIS: Gibbs was Torres’ father figure (Image: CBS)

Wilmer added to ET Online: “And we can’t take credit for the first 300, but I will say that it’s beautiful to stand in the same ground as this team.”

When Wilmer landed his role as Torres in season 14’s Rouge, his introduction was the 307th episode of the show.

Nick joined the team as a special agent, led by Gibbs who was the former special agent in charge.

This was up until season 19’s Great Wide Open when Gibbs resigned.

Mark’s exit left thousands of viewers across the globe heartbroken as Gibbs was the longest-serving character on the show and was featured in 418 episodes.

The character also had a profound impact on Torres who he looked up to as a father figure.

Torres was still reeling from Gibbs’ exit a few episodes later as he never got to say goodbye to Gibbs.

There were too many losses in a short amount of time between Gibbs and his love interest Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham).

During the 450th episode,  the NCIS team investigates the d***h of a ride-share driver who was found after a car accident.

The instalment lifted the veil on Parker’s relationship with his dad, retired Navy vet Roman Parker (Francis Xavier McCarthy).

The father and son duo were forced to confront their issues as Roman was temporarily living with him and assisted the team in their investigation.


NCIS season 20 continues Mondays on CBS in the USA and on Wednesdays on Disney+ in the UK.

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