‘NCIS’: What Were the Most Surprising Character Exits?

by Joe Rutland

“NCIS” has had a lot of change when looking at the show’s cast over the years. But what would reflect the most surprising character exits?

Let’s take a little look, Outsiders.

An article from TVLine offers some suggestions.

In three Season 18 episodes, Breena Palmer, played by Michelle Pierce, died from COVID-19 in an off-camera time jump. Then, psychologist “Jack” Sloane, played by Maria Bello, moved to Afghanistan to do work. Then, Emily Fornell, played by Juliette Angelo, died of a drug overdose. She was Tobias Fornell’s (Joe Spano) daughter.

Then, Eleanor Bishop, played by Emily Wickersham, headed off the show, too.

‘NCIS’ Departures That Stunned Viewers Included Abby, Clayton, Ziva

Among the “NCIS” departures that might have stunned some viewers included Abby Sciuto, played by Pauley Perrette, and Clayton Reeves played by Duane Henry. Perrette had been on the CBS drama for 15 seasons, but the news of her departure was known months before. Henry’s departure was a bit surprising after being on for just a couple of seasons.

Caitlin Todd, played by Sasha Alexander, found her time with “NCIS” end during the Season 2 finale. She had made a name for herself while working with Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly.

Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo, grew closer to DiNozzo as well. In fact, she would find herself headed toward Paris and Tony would follow later on. But news of de Pablo’s departure ahead of Season 11 definitely drew a lot of reaction. “NCIS” fans didn’t like it, yet de Pablo would return in cameo appearances in later seasons.

Fans of CBS Police Drama Remain Powerfully Torn When It Comes To Jenny, Tony

“NCIS” fans still have trouble thinking about Jenny Shepard, played by Lauren Holly. Shepard found herself caught up in the crossfire of a Mojave Desert diner shootout.

Finally, we come to DiNozzo himself. Seeing Weatherly and that character leave “NCIS” is something fans still probably wish didn’t happen. DiNozzo left to go take care of the child Ziva left behind. See, Ziva was supposedly killed. But DiNozzo discovered later on that she was alive. That made his departure more meaningful for the character, but “NCIS” lost a powerful member of the team.

While these departures did lead to other actors getting roles, “NCIS” has managed to remain in CBS’ broadcast plans. The show enters Season 19 with a new night and time. It will now be on Monday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central. “NCIS” will act as a lead-in for yet another spin-off, “NCIS: Hawai’i” starring Vanessa Lachey.

You will see Mark Harmon and David McCallum in the cast. Harmon, who plays Leroy Jethro Gibbs, may not be in every episode but his presence will be felt.