Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How “NCIS” Tricked Fans Over Abby’s Goodbye: Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon Didn’t Share One Scene or Speak to Each Other


“NCIS” fans are crying this morning over the exit of actress Pauley Perrette after 15 years. She played forensic scientist Abby Scuito with verve and humor and was the de factor leading lady of the series.

There was no reason Perrette should leave. and she’s never given an adequate explanation. But last night’s episode was meant for reading between the lines. Perrette and the series’ difficult leading man, Mark Harmon, never shared a scene or spoke to each other for the whole hour.

NCIS Scores Huge Numbers for Finale

This was cleverly accomplished. Right until the end, Abby and Harmon’s Gibbs weren’t even in the show together. For the final moments, the producers cut together two close ups as the characters waved goodbye in sign language.

Otherwise, Abby and Gibbs had no contact with each other. She told her pals at NCIS she was leaving and hugged them all– except Gibbs, who wasn’t even in the room. Think about it: Abby was shot and Gibbs didn’t even visit her in the hospital.

Years ago, when Lauren Holly was the female star of the show, sources told me in detail how badly Harmon treated her. She was forced to leave the show. Perrette has been very diplomatic about her exit. She hasn’t said a word about Harmon. But silence speaks volumes. She’s posted a lot of photos and Tweets to other fellow stars of the show, but none about or with Harmon.

In addition to Abby’s exit, another character left “NCIS” last night, the MI6 agent Clayton Reeves. He was played by so well by black British actor Duane Henry. So, “NCIS” managed to shed a woman and a black man. Was this part of CBS’s diversity program? On a network that has one female (Tea Leoni) and one black dramatic lead (Shemar Moore) for its series, this news should be pretty upsetting.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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