Former NCIS star Pauley Perrette spoke about the show competing with American Idol in a 2007 interview. During the peak of American Idol, it competed with the show, but Perrette loved seeing how that played out. Perrette played the beloved punk scientist Abby Scuito on the show.
She left NCIS at the end of season 15.
“It’s just a fascinating thing what’s happened with NCIS up against American Idol,” Perrette told PopEntertainment. “They have these huge numbers and it hasn’t really affected us at all. Last week, I think, American Idol had like the first three slots [in the Nielsen ratings] and we were number six. No other show that was at the top was up against [AI]. We went dead head against them,” she said.
It was just the beginning of NCIS showing what it could do ratings-wise.
The show has now been the #1 rated scripted drama not just in the states, but in the world.
“Just even the numbers game is fascinating. I think with NCIS, in the beginning, people didn’t really know what it was. They were like military something with an ‘N.’ Then when people check it out, they are like, wait a minute, what was that? That’s funny. Then they have to go check it out again. What was that crazy show I just watched? And then you’re hooked. Once people get hooked on this show, they just don’t leave,” she explained.
And many of those people still haven’t. The show has been on since 2003 and despite major figures like Perrette, Tony Dinozzo actor Michael Weatherly and Ziva David actress Cote De Pablo leaving the series, its remained strong in the ratings.
Unfortunately, after a departure on last night’s episode, that could all change.
‘NCIS’ Just Had Its Biggest Exit Yet
With such beloved characters leaving the show over the years and NCIS staying as popular as it has, you’d think not much could shake it. But people will be watching the ratings closely following the exit of Gibbs actor Mark Harmon. Harmon has played the lead on the show since its start.
He exited the show last night. Gibbs and McGee went up to Alaska for a case, but Gibbs decided that he felt great in Alaska and wanted to retire and stay where he was. While the ratings could take Perrette leaving despite how universally beloved her character was, it may be different after Harmon’s exit.
Harmon played the leading character. Not to mention, Harmon is leaving following the exits of very loved and well-established characters. The existing cast feels very new, and to many fans, not like the same cast that they got to know and love.
If you want to find out how NCIS will handle Harmon’s departure, you can tune in to CBS on Monday nights at 9/8 Central.