For even the most beloved characters and performers, all good things must come to an end. For NCIS' Pauley Perrette, it looks like that time has finally come, as the actress recently announced that she intends to leave the show after an undeniably impressive 16-year stint as forensic whiz (and real-life role model) Abby Sciuto. The actress made her departure from the show official with a social media post early this morning. She wrote:
The reports of Pauley Perrette's departure of NCIS have apparently sparked a massive wave of rumors, and she used this social media post to put them to rest. There doesn't appear to be any bad blood between the actress or the network, and she is NOT taking off in an attempt to start a skincare company (which was apparently circulating in the rumor mill), but she is leaving the show at the end of Season 15. Perrette has not revealed the rationale behind her decision to step down from her role after 16 years on the CBS series, but she did admit that the decision was officially made last year. That means there is plenty of time for the folks behind the scenes to come up with a natural exit for her by the end of the season.
Over the course of her tenure on NCIS (plus guest stints on NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans), Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto handily became one of the show's most instantly recognizable and endearing characters. A forensics expert with a penchant for the goth aesthetic, her character regularly provides comic relief, and her outgoing and animated nature has often served to efficiently counterbalance the stuffiness of more straight-laced characters like Gibbs.
The upcoming departure of Pauley Perrette is one of many casting changes that have taken place on NCIS over the years. No stranger to a changing of the guard, the navy-based criminal procedural has seen Cote de Pablo, long-time star Michael Weatherly, and Jennifer Esposito all leave the series to focus on other projects. After Perrette officially retires her character, Mark Harmon and David Mccallum will be the only two original members of the cast left on the show. Given her long tenure on the show (not to mention her status as a fan-favorite character), it is hard not to imagine that they plan on giving her a memorable exit that will pay off her 16-year run on the show.
NCIS airs every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, so make sure to get your fill on Season 15 before Pauley Perrette leaves the show for good at the end of the season. Looking beyond NCIS, take a look at our fall TV premiere guide for more up-to-date information on all of the shows that are currently set to debut over the next few months.