No Harmon-y for ‘NCIS’ Gary Cole

Road to Nowhere
Michael Yarish/CBS

Hapless Gary Cole is fighting a losing battle on NCIS to replace former top dog Mark Harmon in the eyes of backbiting castmates and the hearts of the show’s disappointed fans, sources snitch.

“Gary’s been desperate to fill Mark’s shoes and fit in with the other series regulars, and it’s kind of pitiful,” spills an insider.

“On set, he tries to impress everyone by doing voices from the animated series he’s done. He brings puzzles to share, and people are bracing for more annoying behavior even before season 20 gets underway.”

The Family Guy funnyman, 65, joined the Navy drama last fall when audience favorite Harmon, 70, left after nearly two decades as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs to spend more time with his family. Harmon has remained onboard as an executive producer, while Cole’s Alden Parker was put in charge of Gibbs’ crime-fighting crew. But spies say the newcomer is still scrambling to connect with his onscreen team!

“Now that the show’s gone on hiatus, he’s still texting and calling co-stars to tell jokes and stories and suggest get-togethers. It just comes off as desperate,” dishes the insider.

“Gary’s trying to win over fans, too, by publicly saying he’s not trying to replace Mark. But the fact remains they don’t like him as much as Mark. Some fans are hoping Mark will come back, and there’s certainly a door left open for that to happen if Mark changes his mind!”

According to the tipster, the cast and crew respect Cole’s acting ability, but also feel the Chicago Fire stud is trying to “upstage” Harmon, who’s still well-liked on the set.

The insider tattles, “Basically, people snicker Gary’s a poor man’s version of Mark, and he doesn’t do himself any favors with his presumptuous attitude.”