"This is all just a setup," says Pauley Perrette, walking into the NCIS writers' room north of Los Angeles. Michael Weatherly fatalistically adds: "This is where we all..." Brian Dietzen finishes the thought: "...meet our end."
Not bloody likely. Sure, the series did off a couple major characters in the first five seasons (Rip, Lauren Holly's Jenny), and some significant recurring characters have met their makers in the five years since (Mike Franks, we hardly knew ye!). But the chances of any of these eight diehards going down anytime before the show ends its run are about the same as the odds of Gibbs cracking a sustained smile.
Speaking of which: When we gathered all eight regular cast members of TV's No. 1 drama for a historic summit, their fearless leader, Mark Harmon, was largely the quiet man out. When his colleagues finally called him on his reticence, he swore »
- Chris Willman
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