NCIS season 15: Pauley Perrette leaving as Abby

Pauley PerretteHere’s the big breaking news coming out this morning, and it’s bad for fans of NCIS star Pauley Perrettte.

In a new post on Twitter, Perrette confirmed that she is leaving the show at the end of the season, while also making it clear that this was a decision made a long time ago (think last year) and she’s not departing to do a skin-care line. Meanwhile, CBS and NCIS itself are not angry at her for what seems to be her decision to depart.

Ultimately, it’s not hard to figure why Perrette would want to depart the show at this point, given that she’s been a part of the series from the very beginning and is one of the few original series regulars still with the show alongside Mark Harmon and David McCallum. Fifteen seasons is a very long time for any show to be on the air, and eventually actors are going to want to move on and do other things.

It’s still an enormous blow to NCIS to lose Pauley at this time given that Abby is easily one of the show’s most recognizable characters all over the world. You can put the character on posters and people will notice her almost immediately, and she has an enormous amount of diehard fans out there as a result of her work here. NCIS has withstood departures of other cast members before, though, so they should be able to handle this. In theory we’re actually getting much more of a warning here than with Michael Weatherly or Cote de Pablo (we didn’t get much of a warning at all with the latter), so there should be time for the writers to come up with a suitable way to send her off.

We do think that NCIS will continue to press onward, but the show is hardly going to be the same. You still have Harmon and McCallum, but those two guys plus Sean Murray are really the only people left from the original era. You had Emily Wickersham’s Bishop temporarily leading the team on the first two episodes of the season just because she was the longest-tenured agent, even though she’s only been there for a handful of seasons at this point. (Rocky Carroll has a longer tenure than Wickersham, but he is not there to be an agent.)

For the time being NCIS will continue airing new episodes on Tuesday nights, and time will tell as to how the CBS show is going to replace Perrette. We at CarterMatt don’t get the sense that this will be the final season of the show, so we figure that somehow the network will find a way to make this work.

What is your reaction to Pauley Perrette leaving NCIS at the end of the season?

Sound off with some of your thoughts in the comments! Also, click here to read our most-recent NCIS episode review or like us on Facebook to receive more insight on this and some of the other shows we cover at the site. (Photo: CBS.)

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!