NCIS standoff between Mark Harmon and Don Bellisario that I first told you about two weeks ago has ended as dramatically as it began: Sources confirm that the veteran producer has agreed to step down as showrunner, effective immediately.
I hear he'll likely be replaced by co-executive producer (and longtime Bellisario collaborator) Chas. Floyd Johnson and headwriter Shane Brennan.
As NCIS' creator, Bellisario will still retain his executive producer title (much like AS-P did on Gilmore Girls), but he is no longer in charge of the show. He's not leaving CBS, however. (Lucky them!) He'll develop two new projects as part of his overall deal with the network.
As I reported, insiders say Harmon has been frustrated for some time with the long hours that resulted from Bellisario's "chaotic management style." And in mid-April, things came to a boil.
"Mark's been working every single day, 16 hours a day," the mole told me. "Don tries to micro-manage everything. Script pages get faxed to the set at the last minute, and Mark is tired of dealing with the huge impact that makes on his life."
Shortly after my original story ran, an NCIS insider sent me this cryptic message via e-mail: "The situation over at NCIS? It's much worse than you think."
That much is now obvious.
So, what do you guys think? Did the right man step down? Based on the results of this poll, I'm guessing your answer is, "Hell, yeah!"