The True Reasons Why All These Actors Left The NCIS Show


In the world of television, NCIS is a testimony to longevity, with one of the longest runs in the medium’s history.

Despite its tremendous success, the show has had a very high cast turnover rate. As favorite characters wave farewell, fans have been left wondering why they are leaving. Let’s look at the intriguing stories behind the departures of important cast members.

Sasha Alexander’s Unexpected Departure:

The first major blow to fans came with the departure of Sasha Alexander, who portrayed Kate Todd. After just two seasons, her character was shockingly k1lled off.

It was later revealed that Sasha requested to be released from her contract due to the unexpected toll the demanding schedule took on her.

Creator Donald Bellisario acknowledged Alexander’s tearful plea, citing the grueling nature of producing 24 episodes a year, 10.5 months a year, and 17-hour workdays. Despite the breach of contract, there was no animosity between the actress and the showrunners.

Cote de Pablo’s Abrupt Exit:

Following Alexander’s departure, Cote de Pablo debuted as Ziva David, a Mossad agent who wowed audiences. However, in Season 11, de Pablo abruptly left the show, leaving both fans and cast perplexed.

De Pablo first cited personal reasons for her resignation, but subsequently clarified that her decision was impacted by the perceived lack of quality in the scripts and the portrayal of her character. The exact reasons for Ziva’s departure remain a mystery.

Lauren Holly’s Boredom with the Role:

Lauren Holly, initially excited about her arc as the NCIS director, found herself growing bored with the character after two years. Disheartened by the departure of showrunner Don Bellisario, Holly welcomed the decision to k1ll off her character, bringing an end to her nearly 50-episode stint on the show.

Michael Weatherly’s Burnout:

Michael Weatherly, who has been a regular on NCIS since its start, left the show after 13 seasons due to burnout. Weatherly, looking for a change, discovered a new project in the legal drama “Bull.” Despite keeping the door open for a possible return, Weatherly’s resignation signaled the end of an era for supporters.

Jennifer Esposito’s Short-Lived Stint:

Jennifer Esposito’s time on NCIS was short-lived, with her character, Alex Quinn, exiting after just one season. Esposito clarified that her departure was always intended to be temporary, citing a desire to care for her ailing mother. Despite the brevity of her tenure, Esposito’s departure sparked speculation, with some wondering if health issues played a role.


Pauley Perrette’s Shocking Revelations:

Pauley Perrette’s resignation caused controversy since she blamed a bad connection with a co-star, later discovered to be Mark Harmon. Perrette left abruptly after making stunning charges about physical att4cks on set and a terrible work atmosphere. The actress, troubled by nightmares, insisted that her departure was the result of standing up to mistreatment.

Emily Wickersham’s Mysterious Exit:

Emily Wickersham’s departure as Ellie Bishop in the Season 18 finale left fans in suspense. The actress hinted at a desire for something new and different but later revealed she put her career on hold to focus on family, having welcomed a baby boy in December.

Maria Bello’s Graceful Farewell:

Maria Bello, known for her role as forensic psychologist Jacqueline Sloane, left the show on her terms after finding success and satisfaction with her character’s story arc. Bello opted not to renew her contract, expressing her desire to explore new projects, including a female-centric drama she produced called “The Woman King.”

Mark Harmon’s Exit After 18 Years:

In an unexpected turn of events, Mark Harmon, the primary actor for 18 years, said goodbye to his legendary role as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. While Harmon did not specifically explain the reasons for his leaving, speculation pointed to age-related issues as well as the hard schedule of performing and producing. Despite Harmon’s departure, showrunner Steven Binder hinted that Gibbs could return in the future, leaving fans excited.

As NCIS continues to evolve, the show’s enduring popularity is undeniable, even in the face of significant cast changes. Each exit has added its own chapter to the show’s rich history, leaving fans eagerly anticipating what lies ahead for the beloved procedural drama.


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  1. Gary Cole is an outstanding replacement for Leroy Jethro Gibbs! Loved Mark Harmon, but they made the right call on this one! The stars I miss the most are Abby, Ducky, Ziva, and Tony! Keep the show going! It’s still great!

  2. Tony was way too much. Tim is so much better without Tony. Nick is super the episode with the blind girl was very tender, tough and sweet. Ellie was a gem with her little quirks. Jenny, Jack and Abby were good characters. I liked Katherine Law. I liked Sasha but she was better in Rizzoli, and Isles. I love Cole as replacement for Gibbs. But no one can replace Ducky, Ziva, Jimmy or GIBBS

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