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Is David McCallum leaving NCIS cast?

David McCallum as Ducky on NCIS cast.
David McCallum as Ducky on NCIS cast. Pic credit: CBS

So, is David McCallum leaving NCIS? Rumors about Ducky leaving the NCIS cast had floated around for a while and they were spurred on by what took place during the episode called Bears and Cubs.

During the March 26 episode, which was called Silent Service, the topic was definitely front-and-center. The character of Ducky retired as the NCIS Chief Medical Officer. This caused a lot of viewers to worry that David McCallum is leaving the NCIS cast.

The retirement of Ducky was definitely a relevant subplot for the new episode, even as Gibbs (Mark Harom) and Bishop (Emily Wickersham) had to deal with a murder investigation on a nuclear sub. The story of Ducky’s retirement actually provided a nice break from the dramatic moments playing out on the submarine.

Is David McCallum leaving the show NCIS?

Here is the great news for NCIS fans: David McCallum is not leaving the NCIS cast. While the character of Ducky will no longer be a central component of the show, the door has been left open for McCallum to return for future episodes.

CBS viewers have noticed how Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) has become a more central focus for the show. He is the younger version of Ducky, showing a lot of similarities between the characters.

On the show, Ducky saw that Palmer was ready to take over the duties he once held and that it was time to officially take that step into retirement.

The writers at NCIS didn’t keep it a secret that Ducky would be moving away from being a focal point of the show, but the good news is that Ducky is not leaving NCIS for good.

There are plenty of ways to work the character into future storylines and easy ways for David McCallum to return in Season 17 as a guest star.

NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.

Ryan is a movie reviewer and entertainment enthusiast who has been writing about sports, film, television, breaking news, and celebrities for nearly 15 years. He... read more
Ryan DeVault

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