‘NCIS’ Almost Cast a Popular ‘Friends’ Star as Kate in Season One: Here’s Why It Didn’t Happen

by Madison Miller

“NCIS” has had a lot of cast changes in its 18-season-long career and counting. However, that original crew was so iconic it helped shape the future of the popular crime drama.

Michael Weatherly, Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, and Sasha Alexander are considered the core cast members near the early days of “NCIS” back in 2003.

It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing these iconic characters. However, one insanely popular actor nearly played the character of Caitlin (Kate) Todd in the series.

Jennifer Aniston on ‘NCIS?’

Jennifer Aniston, known for her role as Rachel Green on the classic TV sitcom “Friends” from 1994 to 2004, almost landed that “NCIS” role.

According to an article from Express, Aniston was once in the talking phase with the network to possibly play Kate Todd. It’s not entirely sure true this may be, however, since Aniston has never vocally and publically said this herself.

She had interest while the first season of the show was still in production. This means it’s unclear when she would have appeared if she took on the job. She was also still on “Friends” at the time and the two shows would have conflicted with each other’s production schedule.

In order to get her on the show, “NCIS” would have needed to change up its timeline. For a star like Aniston, it’s likely they would have done just that.

Aniston really didn’t need “NCIS,” as she continues to be an incredibly prominent figure in the entertainment world. Her fans know her for “We’re the Millers,” “Marley & Me,” “Office Space,” “Just Go With It,” and “Friends with Money.” Jennifer Aniston recently joined Instagram in 2019. People flooded to her account to follow her so quickly that the follow button stopped working for a few hours. According to Guinness World Records, she has the record for the fastest to get their account to one million followers on Instagram.

Sasha Alexander’s Time as Kate Todd

For reasons unknown, “NCIS” landed on Sasha Alexander instead. Alexander, as it turns out, wasn’t necessarily in it for the long run. She was a key member of the team all the way up until season two.

She was shot in the head during the season finale. Both Gibbs and Tony were standing right next to her and were greeted with a blood splatter to the face. To this day, it remains one of the most shocking moments in the series.

Alexander would reappear as Kate’s ghost for a few episodes of season three in order to use her death as a continual source of conflict.

In a Chicago Tribune article from 2005, co-creator of the show, Donald P. Bellisario, shed some light on why Sasha Alexander departed. Right before Bellisario was going to leave the show, Alexander approached him.

“Sasha came in two days before I was to leave, and with tears in her eyes, she said, ‘I just can’t work this hard,'” Bellisario said. He also revealed that the show had incredibly long hours and was quite gruesome to film. Despite her contract with CBS, Bellisario helped persuade the network to let the Kate actress go early.