Since its debut in the olden days of 2003, NCIS has been a hit. The show’s ratings are still quite high despite being one of the longest-running crime dramas on TV. The detective series has been keeping its viewership up for 18 seasons straight now, and it’s only natural that the cast members would get changed and swapped around over such a long period.
It’s finally time to find out why your favorite characters left NCIS!
1. Cote de Pablo
For the first eight seasons, Cote, playing Ziva David, had been a fan favorite. But then suddenly, her character got booted for no apparent reason. In one of the interviews, Cote de Pablo said she didn’t have another option, and it wasn’t up to her. What could that mean? We may never find out, but it does sound like she may have crossed someone.
2. Lauren Holly
Lauren Holly was one of the first changes when Jenny Shepard’s character was introduced as the agency’s new boss in season 3. Although the actress started out as a guest, Holly has become a series regular. However, according to the actress, at the end of season 5, the writers decided to get rid of her character, so Jenny Shepard was not only diagnosed with a fatal illness but also killed during a shootout. However, actress Lauren Holly eventually appeared as a guest star in seasons 9 and 12. She must have really pooped in those writers’ soup during the fifth season.
3. Michael Weatherly
One of our favorite agents, Anthony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, was among the very first actors to join the project in the first season. With a charming smile and a “serious mode,” whenever the scene called for some drama, Special Agent DiNozzo was an important member of the team. Michael stated that he left the series because he wanted to spend time with his family and try himself as a movie actor and producer, so it’s ultimately a good thing.
4. Jennifer Esposito
The actress who played Alex Quinn, Jennifer Esposito, was one of two characters created by former NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg. To complement the ever-changing cast, she joined the series in season 14, after Michael Weatherly left. However, Alex Quinn’s shelf life on the show was supposed to be rather short, or at least that’s what Jennifer told the media. According to the script, Alex left the team to take care of her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but there is a good chance for the character to return.
5. Duane Henry
Agent Clayton Reeves, who joined Leroy Gibbs’s team, also was a short-lived character who managed to survive for three seasons (13-15). Apparently, the creative team that took over the project’s further development after Gary Glasberg left was unsure of what to do with the character, and they just wrote him off.
6. Pauley Perrette
One of the most unexpected exits on NCIS was our favorite goth queen Abigail Sciuto. She’s been on the show for 15 whole seasons before realizing that’s not what she really wanted in life and decided to take a break. But the real reason she quit was after Mark Harmon got handsy with her in 2017. Don’t be that guy, Mark.
7. Sasha Alexander
Remember special agent Kate Todd from the first two seasons? She was one of the main characters before getting killed in the season 2 finale. Sasha said she could not handle the hardcore schedule, and according to the showrunner, she came to him with tears in her tired eyes, pleading him to end her suffering. Which obviously meant breaking her contract.