NCIS: New Orleans, the youngest sibling in the popular CBS franchise, may only be heading into its third season, but the drama is already losing one of its own. Reports this week indicate that the series has opted to cut out one of its cast members. Zoe McLellan, who has played Agent Merri Brody on NCIS: New Orleans, has left the drama. If you've been keeping tabs on the drama, her exit actually makes sense, considering where her character and the rest of the team left off at the end of Season 2.
Agent Brody original hailed from the Great Lakes region, but originally appeared in an episode of NCIS during Season 11, when she transferred to the New Orleans team. She's been a part of NCIS: New Orleans since the beginning, but she made a mistake toward the end of Season 2 and ended up associating with a Homeland Security Agent named Agent Russo whom she thought she could trust. He actually happened to be an anti-military zealot, and while things didn't end badly, it still looks bad to work with an individual of his ilk. Because of her decisions, the team was put on administrative leave to take a break although it was seen as punishment. TV Line is saying all of these events led the series to make a "creative decision" to not bring Zoe McLellan back for Season 3.
So, what it sounds like is that Agent Brody is going to take the fall for the stuff the NCIS: New Orleans team got into during the finale. She's getting kicked off of the team---and effectively the show---and then a new agent is expected to come around and take a look into the affairs of the New Orleans-based team. The new agent will be played by Vanessa Ferlito.
It's pretty uncommon for the NCIS franchise---and CBS procedurals in general--to write out actors and actresses on the show for creative reasons. What's more common is that an actor or actress will choose to leave a series and then the show will find a way to replace the character on the show. We saw this happen this past season with Michael Weatherly leaving NCIS, and CBS was quick to give the man another project in order to keep him around. The same thing also happened when Shemar Moore decided to leave Criminal Minds this past season.
It kind-of makes us wonder if Zoe McLellan wasn't working out or if something in her personal life actually caused the write-out. This is just speculation at this point, but what is not speculation is that the character will be missed and we'll have to wait and see whether or not the newbie is able to fill her shoes. NCIS: New Orleans returns to the schedule on Tuesday, September 20 at 10 p.m. ET. You can find out when some more of your favorites are returning with our fall TV premiere schedule.