Is David McCallum leaving NCIS after season 18? We recognize that this is a question that’s been out there for a while. However, recent information has caused more panic than usual about the fate of Ducky on the long-running series.
If you missed it, cast member Wilmer Valderrama posted a photo on Instagram earlier today of the team (without Ducky) standing next to each other wearing dark suits and formal wear and they are all smiling. Is this evidence that the writers are killing Ducky (or someone else) off? Is the group attending a funeral?
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We do understand the impulse to be worried about Ducky at the moment — just think about what we’ve seen NCIS do as of late! This is a show that killed off both Breena Palmer and Emily Fornell in the span of just a few episodes. There are a few things about the idea of McCallum leaving right now that don’t feel right.
Take, for example, the lack of any announcement that David is departing after nearly two decades. It was known well before Maria Bello’s exit that she would be saying goodbye to the show — why would this be any different for someone that has been with NCIS since the beginning? McCallum has said nothing about an exit, and honestly, it would be incredibly strange/morbid for the cast to be standing around in funeral attire smiling over Ducky’s demise, even for just a candid, out-of-context photo. We’re talking about one of the only original series regulars left next to Mark Harmon! With everyone dressed up in suits and dresses, even dark suits and dresses, this could be for a charity event, a retirement, a funeral or a wedding.
There are two other things to consider on this issue, also.
Why David McCallum has been MIA – We don’t believe that this has anything to do with him departing the show; it may just be due to health and safety matters. Remember that McCallum is 87 years old, and keeping him away from set could be both him and the show acting out of an abundance of caution during this health crisis. He was a part of the 400th episode, and they’ve found ways to include him remotely here and there. Also, writing out McCallum because he’s unable to be on set due to the virus would be infuriating.
The photo being posted to begin with – If that image was really from a funeral, do you think that Wilmer would be allowed to post it? NCIS cast members are typically good at keeping big spoilers under wraps. They all kept Ziva’s return completely quiet and if there was a major death coming and that was the big shocker for the finale, this photo would give away everything.
So while nothing is confirmed one way or another, we’re skeptical that this image has anything to do with Ducky — hopefully, we continue to see him in some form in a potential season 19.
Do you think David McCallum could be leaving NCIS and the Ducky role soon?
Be sure to let us know in the comments, and stick around for more NCIS updates and spoilers! (Photo: CBS.)
This article was written by Jess Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.