Gary Glasberg

NCIS Boss Gary Glasberg Dead at 50, Remembered as 'Gifted Creative Voice'

NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg died suddenly on Wednesday morning, passing away in his sleep. He was 50.

A statement from the NCIS cast and crew reads: “Gary was our rock, our cheerleader, our team captain. He inspired us with his leadership, his creative instincts and keen insight. NCIS will not be the same without him, and each of us will miss his smiling face and unwavering humor, which lifted us every day.”

CBS Entertainment president Glen Geller added, “Today is an overwhelmingly sad day for NCIS, CBS and anyone who was blessed to spend time with Gary Glasberg. We have lost a cherished friend, gifted creative voice, respected leader and, most memorably, someone whose warmth and kindness was felt by all around him.” CBS Television Studios boss David Stapf in turn remembers Glasberg as someone who “epitomized the word mensch and brought kindness, integrity and class to everything he did. His remarkable talent as a writer and producer was only matched by his ability to connect with people

Glasberg started his TV career in 1993, writing episodes of Rugrats and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In 2001, he wrote what would be the first of several scripts for NBC’s Crossing Jordan, where he eventually was named a co-producer. He then went on to serve as a co-EP on CBS’ The Mentalist and Shark, and Fox’s Bones.

Glasberg first joined NCIS in Season 7, as a co-executive producer, and was promoted to EP later that season. Come Season 9, he was handed the showrunner reins by Shane Brennan, who was off to launch NCIS: Los Angeles. Over the course of his run on TV’s most-watched drama, he wrote 29 episodes.

In September 2013, Glasberg and NCIS frontman Mark Harmon shepherded the New Orleans spinoff, which is currently in its third season. In recent years, Glasberg orchestrated longtime series regular Cote de Pablo and original cast member Michael Weatherly’s transitions off of NCIS, and this season oversaw the introduction of multiple new characters.

Glasberg is survived by his wife of 20 years, Mimi Schmir, who has written for/produced Party of Five, Shark and Grey’s Anatomy, and their two sons, Dash and Eli; his father, Edwin; and his sister, Mindy.

On a personal note: Having interviewed Glasberg dozens of times over the years, I need to express that as showrunners go, he was among the upper echelon of humans, a man who spoke of his product with a genuine zeal and pride, as TV’s most-watched drama kept putting up big numbers year after year after, weathering many changes. He would always thank you for reporting on the show, but he also took criticism well. “He gave good quote,” as I say, and he will be missed.

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56 Comments
  1. jtrattray says:

    That was a really nice touch at the end Matt.

    That’s really sad, I liked Gary Glasberg, and what he did with NCIS/NCIS New Orleans. 50 is too young for anyone to leave us.

    • Kevin In CT says:

      Agree with all that you said. To go like that at that young an age, it must be just devastating for his family and friends :(

    • MMD says:

      Yes, that final paragraph is what sets the writers on this site apart from the rest. Deepest condolences to his family and all those who loved him, especially his NCIS family. Such a shock, far to young, and so unexpected. Everyone must be devastated.

  2. Joey Padron says:

    Shocked to hear about his passing. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go to his family, friends, and work family. RIP.

  3. meredithbrody says:

    I disliked the man but this is sad news. RIP sir.

  4. Andrea says:

    OMG! Matt, your personal note was lovely. He was only 50?! Condolences to his TV families at NCIS and NCIS: NOLA, as well as his wife, children, and loved ones. 2016 has been a horrible year of loss.

  5. Patrice says:

    How devastating a loss for his family, friends and fans. He did great work with the NCIS family and did it well. My condolences to his loved ones. R.I.P.

  6. andrew hass says:

    First my condolences to his family but at least he died peacefully in his sleep.As for NCIS, they probably already had most of the season planned out.So we might not see any changes right away and my guess is one of the other producers will be promoted for the rest of the season.

  7. Svenja says:

    Deeply saddened and shocked by these news. My condolences go to everyone who loved him. I really don’t know what to say. Life is so damn short. He will be missed and remembered

  8. Sarah says:

    While I didn’t always agree with his decisions when it came to NCIS, that’s incredibly sad and my thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends.

  9. mia says:

    sad news. My condolences to his loved ones. R.I.P.

  10. Lambsilencer says:

    That is shocking news to read. My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. Way before his time. RIP.

  11. Thank you for your personal memories, Matt. They made your reporting so much more poignant.

  12. Kathy Bergeron says:

    So sad to lose such a creative man at such a young age! RIP.

  13. Kim Barron says:

    Very sad news. Prayers to his family.

  14. Daya says:

    Wow, I’m heartbroken. I guess I love NCIS so much that even though he was a showrunner and not an actor, it’s still hard to hear.

  15. Karen Elleray, Rosebud, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 😢 says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss I love NCIS thinking of you all and sending my condolences to you and your family’s.

  16. Bo bryant says:

    Prayers to his family. May he RIP

  17. Arlene says:

    So sorry to read this. Sounds like a beautiful human being. Long life to all his family.

  18. This is a heartbreaker. NCIS – all 3 of them – is my favorite show, and I know much of the show’s success can be traced directly to Mr. Glasberg. His family and friends are in my prayers.

  19. Agree what you said Matt, RIP Gary Glasberg, long life to all the family and his TV families on NCIS, NCIS LA and NCIS New Orleans.

  20. Robin says:

    So sad. Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.

    Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts as well Matt.

  21. Lillian says:

    Such shocking and heartbreaking news. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  22. Eric says:

    Can’t imagine how the cast and crew are doing after this. Sad to see someone die so unexpectedly and relatively young.

  23. Kevin K says:

    Very sad about his death. Wonder who’s going to be the new show runner of NCIS in light of Gary Glasberg’s passing.

  24. kmw says:

    So sad to hear of his passing and sorry for his family and friends and co workers at all the NCIS franchises. Even if you don’t care for his shows he sure knew how to pull fans in and keep them. Rest in peace

  25. Dee says:

    This saddens me deeply. A gifted man who died way too soon. I have my own Gibbs rules – No one can call or come over to visit on Tuesday because NCIS and NCISNO are my favorite shows. May God be with his family.

  26. Bella says:

    Such sad news, especially for his family and friends. So young.

  27. Erin says:

    I didn’t personally like him as a showrunner, the direction the show took since he took over was frankly boring but he did a great job helming what’s become such a massive ship. Kudos to the man. This piece was a lovely personal touch.

  28. ndixit says:

    That’s very sad. I can’t say I was a huge fan of the seasons he ran NCIS but this is sad regardless.

  29. MelodyAZ says:

    This is very sad. 50 is so young. I didn’t always agree with his decisions/choices but my heart goes out his family and friends.

  30. George says:

    Amazing that people are discussing their disagreements with his creative decisions. All you did was watch his shows, you didn’t work for him. Have some class.

    • ndixit says:

      What does disagreeing with his creative decisions have to do with having class? Nobody is saying that his death isn’t sad and certainly nobody is saying they are glad he’s dead. Being honest is better than being a fake as long as it’s not disrespectful.

      • MMD says:

        I think it just a tad too soon – how about waiting a day. Just a suggestion.

        • ndixit says:

          The way I see it, the poor guy is gone. He won’t care. My point is that people don’t write it to be disrespectful. Its actually the opposite. The idea is that this is a sad thing, irrespective of how we saw him professionally.

          • mary says:

            I have no problem with people saying I disagreed with his decisions, but…
            To say this or that was boring….absolutely no need for that. That’s kicking a man, when fallen.

    • Victoria says:

      People say stuff like this all the time when people in the entertainment industry pass away. As ndixit said, no one is disrespecting the man himself but not everyone agreed with what he did creatively as a show runner.

      Very sad though that he passed away at a young age. R.I.P, Mr. Glasberg

      • George says:

        Then people are petty and heartless. People in the entertainment industry are real people. Not television characters. A man died, way too young. A man who by all accounts was very nice. Who gives a sh-t if you didn’t like episode 3 of season 11 of his show.

        • ndixit says:

          You are missing the point. People aren’t saying that its sad he’s dead, but he was bad professionally. What they are saying is that despite how they viewed him professionally, its a very sad thing that happened. Its not disrespectful in any way.

          • mary says:

            That he was bad professionally??!!! I am sorry, THAT is disrespectful. If that need arises for someone to say that, think back to when “if you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. You say he wouldn’t care, but he has family & he has friends.

          • Patrice says:

            And these so called “people” are experts in television production? The man died, the lack of respect these “people” are showing is not only evident but despicable. You may think you are all special snowflakes, but, considering the loss his family and friends have just suffered, all that is evident is total disrespect and lack of decorum. A point you are missing big time. SMDH

  31. vp44 says:

    Thi sis so sad, may he r.i.p.

  32. Chloe says:

    Terribly sad. My condolences to his family, friends and TV family. Fifty is way too young to die.
    That was a lovely paragraph at the end, Matt. Thank you for letting us know the personal side of him.

  33. S. Wiebe says:

    The NCIS shows are among my very favorites and my baby brother, who passed away in April, were always quick to call each other and talk about the original every week.

    In a way, the news of Gary Glasberg’s passing felt almost like he was one of the family – and I always had the feeling that he was a gentleman.

    My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the NCIS family.

  34. Brody77 says:

    Truly sad news, by all accounts a really good guy & 50 is way too young.

    As an aside, I think your homepage is highly misleading as it shows a pic of Bishop & McGee with Gibbs front & centre, saying “NCIS cast mourns its leader”
    This could be misinterpreted by a lot of folks as think Mark Harmon had passed. Sometimes we don’t need the clickbait is all I’m saying. Even just change the pic to Mr Glasberg.

  35. Mr. Smith says:

    Prayers for his family.

  36. I just can’t understand why so many people feel the need to be negative all the time. It’s all the same ones posting from what I see too. The man just died, show some respect

  37. CK says:

    So sorry to hear the news. Sounds like he was a really good guy. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

  38. Dan Hetland says:

    My sincere condolences to Gary’s immediate family, his extended family and to all who grieve his passing. Thank you Gary for your numerous outstanding contributions to entertainment, I have been a fan for many years. Rest in Peace Sir, you will be missed.

  39. Tim says:

    “Death don’t have no mercy, in this land.
    He come to your house,
    And he won’t take long,
    Look in your bed,
    And see your papa be gone,
    No death don’t,
    Death don’t have no mercy
    In this land….”
    -Grateful Dead

    Or as I say about the certainty of our temporary existence here,

    “Fish gotta swim,
    Bird gotta fly,
    Comes a time
    When we all gotta die…”

  40. Sandy says:

    Mr. Glasberg was only 50 years. Had he lived, he had many more years to contribute to his craft and grow in his creativity. How very sad that we will never see those further successes. May his family and friends find comfort.

  41. Tim Rogers says:

    May his talent live on in his creations. Rest In Peace Sir.