‘NCIS’: Does Sasha Alexander Regret Leaving the Show?

NCIS is one of the most-watched television shows. Does former NCIS star Sasha Alexander have any regrets about leaving the wildly successful CBS series? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows about Alexander’s departure.

Sasha Alexander’s movies and TV shows

Sasha Alexander | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Baby2Baby
Sasha Alexander | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Sasha Alexander made her acting debut in the 1997 movie Visceral Matter, in which she played the role of Karen Chambers. After that, she appeared in the short film Battle of the Sexes. Alexander’s first television appearance was as a series regular in the TV show Wasteland. She played the character Jesse Presser for 13 episodes in 1999. From 2000 to 2001 Alexander played Gretchen Witter on Dawson’s Creek.  

Alexander joined the NCIS cast in 2003 and played the character Caitlin Todd until she left the show in 2005. After her time on NCIS, she joined the cast of Rizzoli and Isles from 2010 to 2016. Alexander’s other acting roles include appearances on Shameless, Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, and FBI.

Why Sasha Alexander left ‘NCIS’

Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Sasha Alexander |Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Sasha Alexander |Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Alexander left NCIS because she reportedly found the workload burdensome. NCIS airs 24 episodes per season, while most TV dramas air roughly 22 episodes. Workdays were also quite long. During an interview with the Chicago Tribune, NCIS creator Donald Bellisario says Alexander spoke to him and revealed she wanted to leave the show. “I had already started writing the last episode of the season and was getting ready to go to Australia to take a little break,” Bellisario told the publication. “Sasha came in two days before I was to leave, and with tears in her eyes, she said, ‘I just can’t work this hard.’”

Does Sasha Alexander regret leaving ‘NCIS’?

Sasha Alexander had a lot to say about her NCIS departure. | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Sasha Alexander had a lot to say about her NCIS departure. | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Does Alexander have any regrets about leaving one of the country’s most popular televisions shows? Alexander told TV Guide she doesn’t regret her decision to leave NCIS. She’s happy not to have to work such a grueling schedule. “People don’t realize that on a network show, you make 24 episodes a year — that’s 10½ months a year, 17 hours a day. It’s hard core,” said Alexander.

Alexander also told TV Guide she doesn’t think she would have had the personal life she wanted if she continued to work the way she was working. She also wouldn’t be able to work on projects that fulfilled her. “I really firmly believe in my heart that I would not be where I am today,” she told the publication. “I didn’t want to wake up and be in my forties and go, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ But people don’t understand,” she added.

Although Alexander is glad she left NCIS, she did tell Zap2It she enjoyed the time she spent on the show. “Do I regret leaving? I absolutely don’t, for a million reasons that I’ve never spoken about… for a million reasons that I can’t,” said Alexander. “I had a wonderful time doing it for two years, though.”

Read more: ‘NCIS’: This Actress Almost Played Sasha Alexander’s Kate Todd

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