The departure of a fan-favorite actor from a beloved TV show often leaves viewers speculating about the underlying reasons. In the case of CBS’s long-running series NCIS, one of the most significant exits was that of Pauley Perrette, who portrayed Abby Sciuto and decided not to return to the show in 2017. Recent insights from several NCIS insiders, gathered for an oral history of the JAG spinoff by The Hollywood Reporter, shed light on Perrette’s departure, including her concerns regarding a workplace incident involving a dog belonging to her co-star Mark Harmon.

Pauley Perrette’s exit from NCIS occurred at the end of season 15. Reports surfaced shortly after her final episode aired, indicating on-set conflict between her and Mark Harmon, who played Gibbs. According to The Wrap, a crew member was bitten by Harmon’s dog when it was brought to the set. Perrette, known for her strong advocacy for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), supported NCIS staff who had concerns about the dog’s continued presence. This led to a conflict between Perrette and Harmon, resulting in the actors filming their scenes on separate days, and they didn’t share the screen during her final season.

NCIS executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson discussed the circumstances of Perrette’s departure in the context of the dog incident. He explained, “In Pauley Perrette’s case, there was an incident with the show with a dog. The dog was Harmon’s, and apparently the dog bit someone. Pauley was a huge, huge SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] animal person. And then the dog kept coming with Harmon, and she felt it wasn’t safe for the show.”

Based on Johnson’s statements, it appears that the situation involving Harmon’s dog contributed to Perrette’s decision to leave NCIS. He recalled that by the end of that year, she felt it wasn’t working for her anymore, and she decided it was time to move on.

Perrette’s character, Abby Sciuto, was beloved by fans, and her absence was deeply felt. Although NCIS introduced a new character, Kasie Hines (played by Diona Reasonover), to take over as the NCIS forensic scientist, it wasn’t the same. Director James Whitmore Jr. mentioned, “Diona Reasonover is wonderful and brilliant, and the work is great. But you walk onto that set sometimes, and you miss Pauley.” Former CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller recognized Pauley Perrette’s contribution, stating that she made Abby one of the most beloved characters on 21st-century television.

Since leaving NCIS, Pauley Perrette went on to star in the CBS sitcom Broke, which premiered in 2020 and lasted for one season. In September 2022, she revealed that she had experienced a stroke a year earlier, along with several traumatic events she had endured, emphasizing her resilience and gratitude for life.

By chrysos