The Doctor Is (Still) In: David McCallum Re-Ups With 'NCIS'
Just as when David McCallum signed his present agreement, he's wasted no time and has reportedly inked a deal that secures him until 2014. Since the show's 2003 inception, McCallum has played the ensemble cast's Naval Criminal Investigative Service medical examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard. Two years ago, he was also first to renew among a quartet of negotiating first-season cast members rounded out by Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and Sean Murray (who joined as Special Agent Timothy McGee during the first season.)
The same four have deals expiring at this season's end. Though all four have not yet been secured, "NCIS" is set for a 10th season debuting next fall. Nevertheless, Deadline reports that Weatherly, Murray and Perrette are all still working out deals. All other major cast members, including star and executive producer Mark Harmon, are locked in at least through the next season.
In addition to timely plot advancement and exposition, Ducky's biggest character role on the series has arguably been as closest friend and confidant to Harmon's Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs - as well as often the only longtime team member to regularly call him "Jethro" without chancing a trademark Gibbs-slap upside the head.
McCallum himself is the only cast member appearing in the "JAG" backdoor pilot episodes to have missed an "NCIS" episode in nine seasons. He didn't appear in the seventh season's "Legend (Part 2)".