Why So Many Stars Left NCIS

Oo matter how you slice it, the hit CBS series NCIS has been a phenomenon ever since it first aired in 2003. The naval cr*** drama has remained so popular around the globe, that the show’s lead actor, Mark Harmon, once revealed a sho***g story on The Queen Latifah Show in 2014: While attempting to take a break from the spotlight with an Austrian getaway, the TV star was recognized by many fans as he and his wife, actor Pamela Dawber, took a casual stroll around town — so much so that the duo even “stopped traffic in the street.” Wow.

It goes to show that NCIS hasn’t been dubbed the “most-watched drama in the world” for nothing. As a spinoff, NCIS has long surpassed its predecessor, JAG. With over 400 episodes under its belt, the series has found a way to stay engaging by enticing its viewership through its own spinoffs, as well as various cases and characters to whom fans build a connection.

But like many other long-running television shows, the team behind NCIS has added and subtracted actors over the years. At times, it can be a wonder as to why some stars would say goodbye to their gigs on the cr11tically acclaimed series. These are the reasons why so many stars left NCIS.

Pauley Perrette was done with behind-the-scenes conflict.

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 16: Actress Pauley Perrette attends An Evening with Women Benefiting the Los Angeles LGBT Center at the Hollywood Palladium on May 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

When Pauley Perrette told ET Canada in 2018 that viewers haven’t seen “a character like Abby on television,” she wasn’t kidding. Perrette played the gothic forensic scientist Abigail Sciuto on NCIS for the series’ first 15 seasons before her sh****ng exit. As revealed to CBS Sunday Morning, the three-time People’s Choice Awards nominee wanted a break and didn’t like the fame that came along with the role, labeling it “dehumanizing.”

Apparently, there was a lot going on behind the scenes. As The Wrap reported, after Mark Harmon’s dog bit a crew member in 2016, his relationship with Perrette soured. Over the years, Perrette tweeted a number of accusations regarding her time on the show, and in June 2019, TMZ reported she alleged Harmon “body checked her on set in 2017.” That same month, she tweeted, “I am terrified of Harmon and him att@@@cking me. I have nightmares about it.” According to TV Guide, when asked about the allegations at the 2019 TCAs, CBS President of Entertainment Kelly Kahl told reporters, “We immediately investigated it and we resolved it to everyone’s satisfaction.”

In July 2020, Perrette fired off numerous tweets backing a Vanity Fair article that exposed CBS showrunner Peter Lenkov, who was sacked due to misconduct. Perrette tweeted about the “great reporting” and went on to add that she testified that she heard “r@@cist,” “misogynistic,” and “h00mophobic” slurs on set that was “hurtful.” She continued, “And y’all wondered why I quit? Those producers are still there. All of them. Including HIM.”

Michael Weatherly left NCIS to play other characters.