NCIS is in its eighteenth season right now. Over the course of its long run, fans have loved and lost several major characters. After all. it’s only natural for actors to want to move on after playing the same character for an extended period. But, fans still feel the absence of some of their favorites. Some even worry that there more departures to come.
In fact, until recently, fans worried that Mark Harmon’s Jethro Leroy Gibbs would leave NCIS. Harmon decided to stick around but other cast members have left for a variety of reasons. So, let’s look at some of the major departures and why they left.
Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto) Left NCIS on Less-Than-Friendly Terms
NCIS fans loved Pauley Perrette’s Abby Sciuto. However, love from the fans wasn’t enough to keep Perrette on the show. In fact, according to Newsweek, it’s not enough to make her consider returning to the series.
Perrette exited NCIS in 2018 after playing the fan-favorite character for fifteen seasons. In a tweet from June of 2019, she said that she would never return to the show. In that tweet, she said, “I am terrified of Harmon and him attacking me. I have nightmares about it.”
The former NCIS star noted that he had a new show where she was both safe and happy. That show was Broke which aired for a single season on CBS.
Maria Bello (Jack Sloane)
Maria Bello is the most recent NCIS star to exit the show. The Jack Sloane actor left on much more amicable terms than Perrette. In fact, after leaving the series, she took to her Instagram to tell fans how fun it was to work on the show. She told her followers that she learned many things from her three and a half years on the series. She went on to say that she had never worked with a “Kinder, more generous group of people.”
Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) Left NCIS for Her Own Reasons
Cote de Pablo joined NCIS in the third season. She left in season ten when her character returned to Israel. Initially, everyone thought she was dead after a bombing. However, she made a surprise return in the sixteenth and seventeenth seasons.
In 2013, she said that her reasons for leaving were personal. She planned to keep them to herself. However, she said that leaving the show was not easy. In fact, she said that it was scary for her to walk away from the series.
A few years later, she opened up about her reason for leaving. She said that it was due to the direction in which showrunners were taking her character. “I perceived that the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved,” she said. She went on to say that she wouldn’t return unless the writers came up with something “fantastic” for her character.
Sasha Alexander (Caitlin Todd)
In an early shocking twist, Caitlin Todd was killed while taking on terrorists. Fans were dumbstruck when Caitlin was killed off so early in NCIS’s run. Behind the scenes, however, Alexander wanted out of her contract. At the time, the public story was that she wanted to move on to other projects.
It later came out that the insane workload was too much for Alexander. She opened up about the workload saying that they were working 17-hour days for more than ten months out of the year. There aren’t many people who could handle that kind of schedule. So, it’s easy to see why she left the series.
You can catch new episodes of NCIS Tuesday nights at 8/7c.