Films and, more especially, television series are heavily associated with and characterized by the actors and actresses that play various characters in them. Most times, when an actor/actress ceases to appear in a television series that is still airing and is instead replaced by another actor/actress, viewers in general and fans of the series, in particular, will have a hard time accepting a replacement actor/actress in that role. Such was the fear of NCIS TV series fans when news broke out that Pauley Perrette who plays the character of Abby Sciuto would be leaving the show after having starred in a main role in 15 seasons of the series which began in 2003 and is still running.
Her departure also raised more questions on why she would be leaving one of the longest-running television series which she has been part of right from its premiere. As it is the norm, news of such nature always raise more questions than it can readily give answers but in the course of time, we gained more insight into why Abby Sciuto left NCIS and also got to know who replaced her.
Before we properly delve into why the actress left the long-running television series, let us have a recap of who the character, Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette) is and what role she played in the NCIS television series prior to her leaving.
Who Is Abby Sciuto On NCIS?
From the foregoing, Abby Sciuto who is played by American actress Pauley Perrette, is a fictional character on CBS television series NCIS. Her full name in the series is Abigail Sciuto and until her leaving, Abby has been part of every season of NCIS including featuring in its spinoffs NCIS: Los Angeles (in two episodes) and NCIS: New Orleans (in two episodes). Thus through this character, Pauley became one of the most popular faces on US television.
In NCIS, Abby is a Vietnamese vet and gothic character who defied the typical negative stereotype of goths as she was instead, a happy and successful person. She worked as a forensic scientist at the Washington Navy Yard with the NCIS. Her areas of expertise are in DNA analysis, computer hacking, ballistics, and digital forensics. She got along well with the rest of her team members who she considered her family. They in return were all fond of her and she was everyone’s favorite.
In season 15, in the episodes “One Step Forward” and “Two Steps Back” of the series, Abby Sciuto resigned from NCIS following the death of one of her team members Clayton Reeves (played by Duane Henry). Clayton took a bullet for Abby as she was shot at by a hitman hired to kill her. In the encounter, Abby sustained some injuries but made a full recovery. Before her resignation, she tricked the man who tried to kill her into confession and afterward left. Abby accompanied her late colleague’s corpse back to England and afterward, she started a charity in his honor and that of his mother to help the homeless; and that was how Abby Sciuto’s character was written off the NCIS series.
Why Did Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) Leave NCIS?
In contrast to the narrative in the paragraph above, Abby left NCIS for a totally different reason. Here is a break down of the events that built up prior to Abby Sciuto leaving the television series and how she managed each.
First of all, she hinted that she would be leaving the series in a tweet she made sometime in October 2017 stating that she made the decision the previous year. In the tweet, Abby’s actor – Pauley Perrette debunked many rumors such as her leaving to start a skincare line and that of the network being mad at her. However, the tweet itself didn’t disclose why she was leaving the series, thus it raised more questions than it gave answers.
Secondly, in an interview with TV Guide Magazine, she claimed she was leaving because she felt it was the right time to move on and decided to announce it on twitter so people won’t feel it was a ploy to attract viewers to the show.
Thirdly, after she had left the series, Pauley hinted in a series of tweets made sometime in May 2018 that she was a victim of several physical assaults while on set including having a dog bite her. In the tweet, she accused Mark Harmon who plays the character of Leroy Jethro Gibbs of being her oppressor.
Initially, the series of events weren’t clear but then we began to piece together events that had happened in the past while she was on set filming the series. Our findings revealed that in 2016, Harmon brought his dog on set and it reportedly bit a crew member, that crew member as it turned out is Pauley Despite the sad incident, Harmon continued to bring his dog on set and this made some of the cast members uncomfortable including Pauley
The relationship between the two also deteriorated such that they began shooting on different days to avoid contact with each other. After Pauley left the show and her fans were asking if she would be back, she tweeted in response that she won’t be coming back to the show as she is terrified of Mark Harmon. She also claimed he she has nightmares of him attacking her.
In summary, it is apparent that Pauley Perrette, who played the character of Abby Sciuto on NCIS, left the television series because she was a victim of several physical assaults. Following her tweets, CBS acknowledged that she approached them over a year ago with work safety concerns and that they worked with her to find a solution to the complaint.
Who Replaced Her?
Seeing that Pauley Perrette left NCIS and the series will still be airing, the next question demanding an answer is who her replacement will be. Diona Reasonover, who previously starred in a guest role in the series, was promoted to play the main role of forensic scientist Kasie Hines in season 16, thus she replaced Abby Sciuto in the series. Pauley and Diona had in the past acted together in a scene of the episode “One Man’s Trash” season 15.