‘NCIS’: Why Did Jennifer Esposito Leave the Show?

Fans tend to be very disappointed when their favorite actor leaves a show. This is true for former NCIS star Jennifer Esposito, who played Alex Quinn. Why did Jennifer Esposito leave NCIS after just one season? Here’s everything Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows.

Jennifer Esposito’s movies and TV shows

Mark Harmon and Jennifer Esposito | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon and Jennifer Esposito | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

Jennifer Esposito made her acting debut in 1995 in the television series The City. The following year, she appeared in the television movie The Sunshine Boys. Esposito made her big screen acting debut in the 1997 film A Brother’s Kiss. Her first recurring television role was in the series New York Undercover, in which she played the character Gina Stone for three episodes.

Esposito got her big break when she starred in the television series Spin City, opposite actor Michael J. Fox. She played the character Stacey Paterno from 1997 to 1999. Esposito joined the cast of NCIS in 2016, playing the role of Alex Quinn from 2016 to 2017. Esposito’s other acting roles include appearances in Blue Bloods, The Affair, Mistresses, and Taxi Brooklyn.

Why Jennifer Esposito left ‘NCIS’

Many fans were surprised when Esposito left NCIS after just one season. Why did the actress leave the show? In a Twitter post, Esposito told her fans she “was not meant to be there long.” She also said she wasn’t leaving because of an illness and that she was “happy.”

Was there any bad blood between Esposito and her co-stars? According Deadline, the actress says she had a good experience working with the cast and producers. “It was a great experience,” Esposito told the publication. “I could not have asked for a better opportunity than to work with the NCIS cast and producers.”

Jennifer Esposito’s last ‘NCIS’ episode

Esposito left NCIS during Season 14, episode 24, titled “Rendezvous.” Unlike many of the other agents on the show, her character wasn’t killed off. Instead, it’s implied Alex Quinn left Gibbs’ team because she needed to take care of her mother. During her final episode, she receives two phone calls from her mother, but it’s not clear what the calls are about.

Jennifer Esposito says she never felt completely ‘at home’ as an actress

During an interview with Power Women TV, Esposito shared her feelings about working in the entertainment industry. She says acting doesn’t leave her feeling fulfilled:

 I never felt completely at home as an actress. I love acting, but the business was just not something I loved… I thought I was getting into a very creative field, and it’s really not. You’re getting hired to say someone’s words. And I felt very unfulfilled.

And certain roles were genius, and you got to really get in there and act, and figure things out. But most, unless you become that top tier of an actress–and that takes the money behind you for your last movie—it’s a business. And I need to be constantly creating something.

Jennifer Esposito, Power Women TV

What’s next for Jennifer Esposito

Right after her NCIS departure, Esposito went on to star in the 2018 film Speed Kills, opposite John Travolta. She played the character Katherine Aronoff. Her other post-NCIS appearances include Blindspot, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and The Boys. She also appeared in the 2019 film Mob Town. Currently, Esposito plays Brenda in the Comedy Central television series Awkwafina is Nora from Queens.

NCIS airs on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

Read more: ‘NCIS’: Why Did Sasha Alexander Leave the Show?

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