Sometimes fan favorites find themselves on the chopping block. Just ask actor Lucas Black and his character agent Christopher LaSalle. Black had been a part of the series since the back-door pilot episode. But fans were shocked when LaSalle was unceremoniously killed off during the middle of Season Six.
It was the gunshot, if not heard across the world, then across New Orleans. Black’s LaSalle died while investigating the death of his own brother. But it wasn’t a bullet that killed LaSalle, so much as Black’s schedule. In an interview with Lee Domingue on his podcast ‘Legacy Starts Today’, Black discussed wanting to step away from the show.
Black said he left “NCIS” to spend more time with his family and because he felt exhausted as well.
“All throughout my career there was a concern because I would observe how the entertainment industry would destroy families, and destroy families,” Black said, according to Express. “The way it’s run, you’re traveling, it’s a very fast pace, lots of long hours, especially in television.”
Lucas Black Leaves ‘NCIS: New Orleans’
Lucas Black underestimated how much time he was going to spend on set. Black had been an actor since he was a kid, starring in films like “Sling Blade” for instance. But working on a set of a primetime show was a different beast entirely.
Black said he worked around 70 hours a week across the first three seasons of the show. Initally, Black envisioned “NCIS: New Orleans” as a short gig. But the show quickly became a huge hit for the network. And Black’s character became a fan favorite on the show as well.
In total, Black starred in 125 episodes as Christopher LaSalle across the series run. But after six seasons, the actor was ready to bid his “NCIS: New Orleans” family goodbye. Black said he tried to move his family closer to the city he was filming in. But the show put a strain on spending time with his wife and kids.
“It was time, it was time for me to leave. I felt like my job there was finished,” Black continued. “You can’t keep going at that pace, and I think, have a healthy marriage. It’s not sustainable; it’s inevitable that something bad’s gonna happen if you stay working at that pace.”
In a bit of dramatic irony, if Black would have waited one more season, the show would have been canceled anyways. “NCIS: New Orleans” packed up shop after seven seasons. And maybe Black’s LaSalle might have lived to fight another day.