Why NCIS Vet Pauley Perrette Joined A New CBS Show After All That Drama

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For many years, Pauley Perrette was an important link in the chain on the never-ending CBS hit NCIS, but that all came crashing down in 2018 when the actress made a surprise exit at the end of Season 15. That choice was wrapped up in some major problems alleged by Perrette, and was coupled by her reported intentions to take a break from acting. Now, less than than two years later, Perrette is gearing up for the upcoming premiere of her new CBS comedy, Broke, and has talked about why she's back so soon.

Considering how many NCIS fans adored Abby, and in turn loved Pauley Perrette herself, there was tons of support for the actress to return to the small screen at some point. That said, CBS' Broke might not have been the most obvious project for her to dive into after polishing those dramatic skills for so long. Here's how she explained it when asked if she'd seriously considered an early retirement after NCIS:

I was going to drink beer with my three dogs and watch television. [Laughs] My family, friends and pastor didn't think it was the best idea. I didn't even want to play a mom, but now Antonio is the center of my universe. He brightens my life!

In her interview with TV Insider, Pauley Perrette made it sound like she did indeed put some thought into pushing acting to the sidelines so that she could kick her feet up and relax with some brews, some four-legged buddies, and the boob tube. That kind of lifestyle is nothing to shake a stick at if you can make it work. However, it sounds like loved ones in Perrette's life had some less beer-intensive ideas for how her time might be better spent.

So rather than sticking around the home front, Pauley Perrette dove right back into the network TV life that she was used to, albeit with tons of differences. This will be Perrette's first time as a series regular in a network comedy in over 20 years, and her character doesn't have anything to do with solving murders or wearing goth makeup. Also, she's a mom!

According to the actress, she wasn't so interested in joining a TV show in a motherly role, but something definitely changed in that respect. Perrette's character Jackie is the mom to Anthony Raul Corbo's Sammy, but it seems like the son will be the least of Jackie's problems. The plot revolves around Jackie's sister Elizabeth (Natasha Leggero) and her once-wealthy husband Javier (Jaime Camil) having to move into Jackie's home after losing their hefty fortune. What's more, Javier's driver and assistant Luis (Izzy Dias) is also part of the move-in package.

The new situation creates tension, of course, with Elizabeth being spoiled by her former life, and Jackie being miffed that the sister chose money over giving a hand with raising Sammy. Of course, with the always hilarious Natasha Leggero playing Elizabeth, I can't see the siblings' rivalry actually hitting any truly dramatic zeniths.

Speaking of, one can only hope that Pauley Perrette's experiences on Broke outshine the way things went during the final leg of her NCIS stint. Though her official exit was pretty normal and non-confrontational, it wasn't long at all before Perrette dropped some high-octane allegations that claimed "multiple physical assaults" were experienced, saying she hadn't expressed concern publicly before because she didn't want to handle things that way. But once certain tabloids started publishing their own stories about behind-the-scenes rumors, Perette came out with her own admissions.

CBS backed up the claims that Pauley Perrette did indeed make a workplace complaint prior to leaving NCIS, and she was appreciative for it. Still, don't expect Perrette's CBS gig to convince her to pop back in for an NCIS cameo, because she's already stated she's never going back to the show, holding former co-star Mark Harmon responsible for her departure.

Perhaps now that Pauley Perrette will thankfully once again be a familiar face in the primetime lineup, there can be some closure for her NCIS woes. Check out Broke when it premieres on Thursday, April 2, at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.