‘NCIS:’ The Real Reason Maria Bello Loves 1 of Her First Episodes

There’s no show on TV quite like NCIS. Any TV show that’s on the air for the better part of two decades must be doing something right. NCIS is one of the few dramas to last more than 10 years, and it has some of the highest-paid cast members as a result. That includes Maria Bello as Jack Sloane. She isn’t the cast member with the longest tenure, but she’s probably earning well into six figures for each episode and more than $2 million per season. Bello’s run on the show started in 2017, which is more recent than some of her co-stars, but she still has a favorite episode.

Maria Bello loves one of her first NCIS episodes

Outsiders might say taking a part on NCIS was a step backward for Bello. After all, she starred in Permanent Midnight in 1998 and the Mel Gibson movie Payback in 1999 before wowing audiences as Lil in Coyote Ugly in 2000. She also has two Golden Globes nominations for movie acting for 2003’s The Cooler and 2005’s A History of Violence.

However, Bello loves the show, and her favorite NCIS episode is the one where fans met her Jack Sloane character. “Skeleton Crew,” the fourth show in Season 15, is Bello’s No. 1 episode, and the real reason she loves it is that it was a team effort.

“It’s the first episode I shot. Rocky [Carroll] directed and Mark [Harmon] and I played and worked a lot,” Bello tells TV Insider. “He is truly captain of the ship, and I’m proud to be his mate!”

How much longer will Maria Bello be on NCIS?

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Time to get happy, NCIS fans. If you love Maria Bello on the show, then you’re going to see a lot more of her. She signed a three-year contract when she joined the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The means Jack Sloane should be around until the end of Season 17 in 2020.

Is anyone leaving the NCIS team soon?

Aside from star and producer Mark Harmon, the one constant on NCIS is change. The cast continually changes as characters come and go. Even fan favorites, such as Pauley Perrette, Cote de Pablo, Michael Weatherly, and Sasha Alexander departed the show over the years.

Maria Bello (third from right) and the rest of the NCIS Season 16 cast
Who will return for Season 17? | Kevin Lynch/CBS via Getty Images

Since her contract runs through Season 17, we suspect Mario Bello will be part of the cast for a while. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some other cast members move on soon.

Sean Murray’s Timothy McGee is a mainstay on NCIS, but he’s a candidate to leave, especially because McGee is being recruited by a major company on the show.

It looks like David McCallum might not return when the 17th season comes around late in 2019.

Rocky Caroll’s Leon Vance seems like he might leave the team soon. The peril Vance faced at the end of Season 15 might foreshadow danger down the line.

There’s even a rumor that Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs might be leaving, but if that happens, then it’s hard to imagine the show continuing.

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