Why Did Pauley Perrette’s Abby Sciuto Leave NCIS at the End of Season 15..?
Abby Scuito’s departure from NCIS after 15 years on the procedural drama marked the end of an era for her devoted NCIS fanbase in 2018. This is what happened.
Abigail Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) was a beloved character on NCIS until she abruptly left the show in season 15. Throughout her time on the CBS drama, Abby’s happy goth personality won her an army of fans, many of whom miss her to this day. She’ll be remembered for her pigtails, chunky platforms, and her favorite Caf-Pow drink, as well as her brilliant mind as a forensic scientist.
Abby was popular not only with viewers, but also with her NCIS colleagues, such as special agents Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), as well as former team leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), who was always a father figure. When Abby needed her next Caf-Pow fix, Gibbs—who had been replaced by Gary Cole’s Alden Parker—was there to provide it (in exchange for important forensic information). The characters’ on-screen closeness appeared to foreshadow a real-life friendship between actors Harmon and Perrette. This, however, was not the case.
Abby Scuito’s departure from NCIS after 15 years on the procedural drama marked the end of an era for her NCIS fanbase in 2018. It appeared that they were on good terms at first, but it soon became clear that there was more to the story. Perrette and Harmon had a major falling out on set in 2016, which resulted in the complete breakdown of their personal and professional relationships. What happened after that caused Abby to leave NCIS, which was almost as unexpected as Caitlin Todd’s d3ath.
According to reports, the squabble began when Mark Harmon, another NCIS producer, brought his dog, Dave, onto the set (via The Bark). The dog is said to have bitten an NCIS crew member, who later required “more than a dozen stitches.” This incident caused tensions on set, allegedly making Perrette feel “unsafe” when the dog was present, despite Harmon’s claim that the dog was kept in a trailer. Tensions off-screen spilled over onto the screen, resulting in Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette filming scenes on different days—likely causing a logistical nightmare for the crew.
Abby Scuito last appeared on NCIS in the two-part episode “One Step Forward” and “Two Steps Back.” Lauren Holly and Michael Weatherly are among the other major actors who have left NCIS. Abby’s story came to an end when a shooting k1ll3d Clayton Reeves (Duane Henry), who had saved her life. It’s widely assumed that Abby’s ending was written so that Perrette and Harmon wouldn’t have to film together; their final scenes were created using special effects.
Is Abby ever going to return to NCIS? Unlikely. Pauley Perrette tweeted several cryptic messages, including one in 2019 that read, “NO I AM NOT COMING BACK! EVER!” She also claimed to be a “I was terrified of Harmon and his att4cks on me. It gives me nightmares.” (Source: Twitter.) While Harmon has remained silent on the matter, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl confirmed that Perrette filed a workplace complaint, which was quickly resolved (via TV Insider). Mark Harmon has since stepped down as Gibbs on NCIS, but because he is still a producer on the show, Abby Sciuto is unlikely to return.