THE MAN WHO MADE GIBBS
TV Guide Magazine|Gibbs Forever!
NCIS's first technical adviser, Richard Warmack, helped Mark Harmon create TV's beloved agent. Here is the exclusive story of how Gibbs took shape.

WHILE ASSIGNED TO the NCIS Los Angeles Field Office as the assistant agent in charge, I received a call from NCIS HQ, in early 2003, asking me to go see a producer named Donald P. Bellisario who wanted to do a show about us. I nervously asked HQ what I was supposed to do when we met, and they said make sure of two things: Get our name right, and we are never the bad guys. Seemed like a pretty simple mission, so off I went.

I met with Don at his studio and found him to be one of those larger-than-life figures. He said he had tried years before to coordinate with the Navy to get a show on the air about NCIS, but couldn't do so. He ended up doing JAG instead, obviously one of his huge success stories. I realized why there seemed to be overlap with his depiction of what JAG and NCIS agents do.

After I dutifully informed Don that the agency's priority was to ensure we were shown for who we were, a small but proud and extremely capable organization driven to get to the truth, he walked me into an adjacent conference room, where I was met by no less than 10 writers. For the next couple of hours, I was peppered with questions about the NCIS, what we did and how we did it. I told them some stories and gave them general insights into past cases I had worked that I thought best represented what the organization was about.

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