Barrett Foa (41) has been part of the cast since 2009. His character "Eric Beale", which at first was only conceived as a supporting role, became part of the main cast after only one season. The technical expert quickly turned out to be a popular figure. But now fans of the series have to do without Barrett Foa for the first five episodes of the 11th seaon.

NCIS: L.A.: Barrett Foa is taking on new challenges

As TVLine reports, the actor will not appear in five of the first six episodes of the eleventh season. Barrett Foa, who has worked in the theatre before, will temporarily devote himself to another task.

Fora will be heading to the St. Louis Repertory Theatre where he will star in a production of Angels in America, which made it impossible for him to take part in the filming of the first episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.

To explain his absence, "Hetty" (Linda Hunt, 74) will apparently send "Eric" away in order to investigate a clandestine case with an outside company.

Details will be given on his return but the reunion is not going to be a smooth one. In good old NCIS fashion, events take a dangerous turn and "Eric" will have to rely on help from his team.

Cast of 'NCIS: L.A.'

Linda Hunt has been playing "Hetty" since 2009...!

'NCIS: Los Angeles': Everything You Need To Know About "Hetty"

NCIS: Los Angeles: Just a temporary farewell to "Eric"

For all fans, the absence of "Eric Beale" in the first episodes should certainly be a disappointment. Nevertheless the fans of the series can be satisfied with the decision of the producers, because it was rumored in the final weeks of season 10 that Medalion Rahimi (27) could soon replace "Eric" and "Nell" (Renée Felice Smith, 34) in NCIS: Los Angeles.

Her character "Fatima Namazi" started taking on many tasks of the couple, who traveled to San Francisco at the end of the season. But only a few weeks later it was revealed that the two characters wouldn't quit.

Barrett Foa: "Eric Beale" will be back in episode 6

This is not the first time that the production team has allowed circumstances from an actor's private life to flow into the script. Miguel Ferrer's (†61) illness was was also incorporated into the script. 

Fortunately, this time it is just another professional activity on the part of actor Barrett Foa. "Eric Beale" will actually return to the show in episode six of the new season.