Why Did Jennifer Esposito Leave ‘NCIS’ After One Season?
NCIS fans are counting down the days till the 20th season of the show premieres on September 19. This season’s actors include Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Murray, Katrina Law, and Gary Cole. But as fans adjust to the new season, some might be wondering what happened to cast members of years past, like Jennifer Esposito.
Actor Jennifer Esposito played NCIS Special Agent Alex Quinn in Season 14 of the show. The season aired from September 2016 to May 2017.
Jennifer Esposito had previously left Blue Bloods after a short stint — from 2010 to 2012 — as well. Was her departure from that show connected to her leaving NCIS?
Jennifer Esposito Leaves Blue Bloods on Bad Terms
When Jennifer Esposito left Blue Bloods in October 2012, she did so under circumstances that she and CBS debated. Esposito tried to explain her side of the story in rambling messages on Twitter.
“CBS PUT me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac,” she tweeted, according to Deadline. “CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was NOT truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping Me from working anywhere else! … Absolutely shameful behavior.”
Regardless of the circumstances of Esposito’s departure from Blue Bloods, she joined NCIS — another police procedural show on CBS — in 2016.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Jennifer Esposito joining us for season 14,” NCIS Executive Producer Gary Glasberg said in a statement at the time, according to Variety. “She embodies everything that we hoped for in the character of Quinn and we can’t wait to have her come be a part of our team.”
Jennifer Esposito Leaves NCIS Too
That said, CBS announced in June 2017 that Jennifer Esposito would leave NCIS, according to TVLine. She apparently left NCIS on better terms than with Blue Bloods.
Jennifer Esposito reportedly called her role on NCIS “a great experience. I could not have asked for a better opportunity than to work with the NCIS cast and producers.”
The reason for Jennifer Esposito leaving NCIS lingered at the time. CBS said NCIS producers had picked a different creative direction for the show. Jennifer Esposito insisted her character wasn’t ever set to have a long run on the show.
Additionally, she revealed on a September 2016 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that her doctor had her sent to a psychiatric ward at some point while she was an actor on Samantha Who? from 2007 to 2009. Whether that hospitalization was connected to her departure from NCIS isn’t completely clear.
After playing a main role in NCIS, Jennifer Esposito acted in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for five episodes and The Boys for six episodes. She currently appears in Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.