Pauley Perrette has announced that she will be leaving NCIS. So how soon will her departure take place? How many more episodes will Abby Sciuto be in?
Perrette announced on Twitter on Wednesday that she will be leaving NCIS after the current season, Season 15. That season just began last week, and it is expected to run all the way until May 2018. So fans still have another 20 episodes and seven months with Abby Sciuto before she officially says goodbye; the change is not something that will affect the show in the immediate future.
The actress also said as part of her announcement that the decision for her to leave was reached last year. This suggests that the show’s writers had plenty of time to figure out a way to write Abby out of the series, and presumably she will get a proper sendoff in May 2018. This is not one of those situations where an actor very suddenly leaves a show and their character barely gets a goodbye.
So why is Pauley Perrette leaving? Nobody really knows at this time, although she did specifically say on Twitter that it has nothing to do with her starting a skin care line or with her having any sort of bad blood with CBS. Presumably, we will be hearing more about her reasoning in the weeks to come.
“I hope everyone will love and enjoy EVERYTHING ABBY not only for the rest of this season but for everything she has given all of us for 16 years,” Perrette said on Twitter.
Pauley Perrette has starred on NCIS since all the way back in Season 1, which began airing in September 2003. She has been pretty focused on the show since then, only occasionally showing up in guest spots on other series like 24. Back in 2016, she signed a new contract for Season 14 and Season 15, and so presumably she simply chose not to renew her contract when negotiations came around, perhaps because she wanted to move on to other projects after spending so much of her life with this show.
Still, this is certainly bad news for NCIS fans, as Abby has long been a fan favorite character. Perrette is also the third series regular to depart in recent years. Cote de Pablo left in 2013 after starring as Ziva David in 188 episodes, and Michael Weatherly left in 2016 after starring as Anthony DiNozzo in 306 episodes.
Despite these departures, NCIS remains one of the most popular shows on television, with the season premiere drawing 16.3 million viewers, according to Deadline.