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Bellisario to leave ‘NCIS’

Showrunner exits 'JAG' spinoff

There’s finally some buzz surrounding one of TV’s least buzzed-about hits — but it’s not the kind CBS Par Network TV execs were seeking.

Studio confirmed over the weekend that “NCIS” showrunner Donald P. Bellisario is leaving the drama series he created. Move follows a report last month by TVGuide.com of tension between the producer and series star Mark Harmon.

Bellisario’s showrunning duties will likely be taken over by Chas. Floyd Johnson and head writer Shane Brennan.

“NCIS” is the sort of CBS warhorse that does yeoman’s work for the Eye, generating solid tune-in in a tough Tuesday night timeslot opposite “American Idol.” Skein was a spinoff of the equally unsexy “JAG.”

CBS Par prexy David Stapf issued a statement praising the “creativity, vision and talents” of Bellisario.

“He not only built a top-rated show but a great producing team that provides terrific continuity for the years ahead,” he said. “With ‘JAG’ and ‘NCIS,’ Don has a great tradition of success with the network and our studio. We look forward to developing his next generation of projects.”

Bellisario is in the middle of a multiyear overall deal with CBS Par and is said to be working on a pair of possible projects for the studio.

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