Tag Archives: Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon: Pam Dawber ‘NCIS’ Guesting Up to Her

Mark Harmon

“NCIS” marks its 200th episode Tuesday (2/7) with a storyline that will bring back past events (and stars) as Mark Harmon’s character sees his life flash before his eyes when he encounters a gunman in a diner.  The nice-guy actor-producer is always quick to credit his team when asked about the success of TV’s No. 1 series.  In fact, he lets it be known, he doesn’t think about himself and the rest of the cast and crew in terms of star and supporting players:  “I don’t see myself in life that way.  I know how to do the team thing,” explains the one-time UCLA quarterback.

“Everyone has a say, everyone gets to speak their minds.  Everything is out in the open.  If there is a problem, we talk about it and deal with it, so it’s a pretty rare way to work.”  Indeed.

On the other hand, it seems one person alone has a say when it comes to Mark’s wife, Pam Dawber, ever guesting on “NCIS.”  Here’s what he says about that:  “You know, she’s got her own career.  She’ll figure it out.  It’s not my decision.  It’s not my choice.  It’s her choice.  If she wants to come in on something, she’ll come in on something.”

ALSO:  Harmon is looking forward to reprising his role as Lucas Davenport, author John Sandford’s sleuthing Minneapolis Deputy Chief of Police — the part he played in the USA Network’s hit November movie, “Certain Prey.”  Chatting after the “NCIS” panel at the recent TV critics press tour, Harmon said, “There are plans to do another one, but whether that will be this hiatus, I don’t know at this point.  Part of my job here and commitment to the show is to come back somewhat rested.”  Fitting a TV movie during his seven-week seasonal hiatus doesn’t leave much time for R&R.

‘NCIS’ Brian Dietzen: Jimmy’s Getting Married

Brian Dietzen

“NCIS’s” Brian Dietzen — that’s eccentric Assistant Medical Examiner Jimmy Palmer to fans — has been notified that Jimmy “will be married by the end of the year.  It’s yet to be seen whether we’ll be in on all the bachelor party-type stuff,” says the actor, who admits he has “a lot of questions” about his pending nuptials, which will be toward season’s end in the spring. 

“He’s been talking a lot about his fiancee, Breena, who’s an embalmer, in the episodes we’ve been doing,” he says.  What’s been on Dietzen’s mind a lot is, “What’s going to happen on Jimmy’s wedding day?  Will it become a crime scene?”

According to Dietzen, Jimmy’s days of under-the-autopsy table assignations and such are over with.  “Jimmy did have a pretty lascivious affair with a past agent.  That got her nowhere,” he notes, referring to Liza Lapira’s character, who was shot to death in the line of duty by none other than Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon).  “I’m not sure Jimmy is that adventurous any more.  If he thinks enough of this woman to marry her, he’s being a little more conscientious.”

Dietzen is celebrating his eighth year of playing Jimmy — which is particularly good considering he initially came in for a one-day-only appearance.  “I still really love, love, love going to work at ‘NCIS.’  Everyone really does love working together,” he says.  And as for Harmon, “When the No. 1 guy on the call sheet shows up before you do and leaves after you, it’s hard not to take cues from him.  He’s an executive producer on the show too, you know.  Add to that he’s just a nice person and we have fun.”

Dietzen has his own producing project in post-production right now.   It’s a film called “Congratulations” in which a young couple (played by Dietzen and Abby Miller, who also cowrote the screenplay with him) confront diverging feelings about whether or not to marry.  “People in my generation have different views about marriage than our parents.  We’re waiting longer and longer to get married, longer and longer to have kids, longer and longer to buy houses and all that stuff,” says the actor, who is, in fact, married with two young children.  “It’s a great theme to explore: what does it mean to be married?  Is it spending time with the person and loving them, or being able to tell family and friends that you’re married?”

Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”) and Kevin Rankin (“Unforgettable”) are also in “Congratulations,” which Dietzen is just about to send out for Sundance Film Festival consideration.

‘NCIS’ Boss Rocky Carroll Talks Career Longevity in Hollywood

Rocky Carroll CBS photo

Look for a major two-part storyline ahead on “NCIS,” in which “we’re going to deal with Cote de Pablo’s character, Ziva, and her father, who is the head of Mossad,” reports the series’ Rocky Carroll.  It’s so big, it will also tie in with Carroll’s other show, “NCIS Los Angeles.”

Playing NCIS Director Leon Vance, the boss on two series, “People have the idea that I practically have to Medevac from one set to the other, but it’s not that way.  The fact my shooting schedule is not nearly as grueling as others’ is what makes it possible for me to go back and forth.  I like to say I have the greatest part-time job in television,” says the amiable Carroll.

He says he feels lucky indeed, in fact.  “I’ve been in Hollywood 20 years now and I’ve done five different shows as a series regular for one network.  Not a lot of people can say that.  There are Emmy and Academy Award-winning actors who are on the Where Are They Now list who’d give their arm to be working.”

Carroll adds philosophically, “When you’re a young guy on a hot show, and you have the attention of the entire town, you think that’s the world.  Hollywood is the world’s greatest party, but one day you find out your name’s not on the guest list anymore.  Mark Harmon has been on the guest list for decades.  That’s rare.”

The well-liked veteran actor feels that career longevity hinges on this:  “You’re only as good as your reputation.  It’s a small town, and once you’ve done a few things, they already know you before go in.  If you have a great reputation – you show up on time, you’re collaborative, you do the work, you make it an enjoyable experience – that takes you a long way.  If you don’t, well, I know some of the most talented people in this industry who walk around wondering why they have trouble getting work.  It’s their reputation.  You think the heads of studios and networks don’t talk to each other about what someone’s like to work with?  They do.  It’s the same in any field.”