‘FBI’: How Is the Franchise Doing Ahead of Julian McMahon’s Exit?

by Jennifer Shea

All good things must come to an end. And so Julian McMahon is moving on from FBI: Most Wanted. The actor who played Jess LaCroix for almost three seasons is now leaving the show as his character goes through a rocky life transition.

“Over the past few months, the producers of FBI: Most Wanted and I have had discussions about my departure from the show in favor of additional creative pursuits and the transition of my character Jess LaCroix,” McMahon said in a statement to Deadline. “These ongoing conversations have given us an opportunity to orchestrate a seamless and productive way for me to leave the show.”

McMahon went on to express gratitude to FBI: Most Wanted executive producers Dick Wolf and Peter Jankowski. And he said he remains proud of the work he’s done on the show. It is still unclear how LaCroix will be written off the show. But with his daughter Tali leaving for a boarding school in Canada, now is a good time for the series to shake things up.

“We are saddened to see Julian leave,” Wolf said in a statement to Deadline. “His portrayal of agent Jess LaCroix has been a key factor in the success of FBI: Most Wanted. We will miss him and we wish him the best in his next chapter.”

How Is the FBI Franchise Doing These Days?

With the FBI franchise now taking over Tuesdays on CBS – the spinoffs FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International have since joined the original series on that night – it’s a successful time for Wolf Entertainment.

According to Spoiler TV’s seasonal averages, FBI is doing the best of the three shows, with same-day viewership at 7.3 million viewers. FBI: International comes in with 5.9 million viewers. And FBI: Most Wanted boasts 5.7 million viewers. But FBI: Most Wanted sees the greatest percentage increase in viewership of the shows when the seven-day viewership total is factored in, with a 54 percent jump to 8.8 million viewers.

Will those viewership numbers change with McMahon’s exit? It remains to be seen. But luckily for FBI: Most Wanted, they’ve found a pretty good follow-up act to replace McMahon.

Dylan McDermott to Switch from Villain to Hero As He Replaces McMahon

TV viewers may recognize Dylan McDermott as the charming but fearsome villain from Law & Order: Organized Crime. However, he’ll soon be trading in his bad-guy spurs to play a new lead part in FBI: Most Wanted, Variety reports.

On Law & Order: Organized Crime, McDermott plays Richard Wheatley. The crooked businessman has clashed repeatedly with Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). His pharmaceutical company may serve as a front for a Mafia narcotics ring. But Stabler has yet to gather enough evidence to arrest Wheatley. With Wheatley’s storyline scheduled to wind down in the near future, could that soon change?

McMahon’s last episode airs on March 8. So it looks like Law & Order: Organized Crime had better get to that climactic showdown between Wheatley and Stabler soon. Because FBI: Most Wanted is calling.