NCIS fans got worried about Ducky leaving during Tuesday night’s episode. Actor David McCallum was featured in a rebroadcast of the episode called Silent Service from Season 16.
This was Episode 17 from last year, where Ducky revealed that he was retiring from his position on the NCIS team. It was an important moment for the character of Dr. Donald Mallard.
Having Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) take over as the lead medical examiner for the team meant that Ducky had to be ushered to other places in the show. And that is exactly what has taken place.
For Season 17, McCallum has become only a recurring character on the show, with Dietzen getting most of the scenes Ducky would have appeared in during past seasons.
Ducky hasn’t left the show entirely, but he also doesn’t appear in every episode. This has changed the dynamic of the NCIS team a bit, much in the way that Diona Reasonover as Kasi Hines has replaced the part Pauley Perrette played as Abby Sciuto.
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) November 8, 2017
What were fans confused about?
Social media was filled with questions on Tuesday night about the show, probably from viewers who may not have been tuning in for every episode or stopped by CBS because many networks were airing repeat episodes.
Some of the questions included: Is Ducky leaving NCIS? Why is Ducky leaving NCIS? Is Dr. Mallard leaving NCIS? Why is David McCallum leaving NCIS?
@NCIS_CBS Is this really Ducky’s last episode?
— Lisa Leonard (@pleolleo) December 4, 2019
For viewers who have been watching the current season of the show, Ducky has already popped up a number of times. This is the problem with a serial drama dropping in past episodes during an off night because it can lead to some confused viewers.
@smackalalala Hey was NCIS new tonight?
— ?Becky Phillips? (@machtaholic) December 4, 2019
As a warning for NCIS fans and CBS viewers, CBS is going to be airing another older episode next Tuesday (December 10), so keep that in mind if you plan on watching the prime time shows for the evening. FBI and NCIS: New Orleans will also be repeat episodes.
The reason the network can get away with showing repeat episodes is that even those installments yield impressive NCIS ratings for CBS. The strong Tuesday night lineup continues to pay dividends for the network.
NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.