NCIS fans will have a major adjustment to make in the show's upcoming season.
On July 24, news broke that star Maria Bello will exit the popular CBS series in season 18. She's been with NCIS since season 15, portraying "Jacqueline 'Jack' Sloane" opposite Mark Harmon's "Gibbs." Deadline exclusively reported the news.
NCIS will lose Maria Bello in season 18
Going back to 2019, rumours had been circulating about Bello's potential departure, seeing as she'd only signed a three-year contract with the series beginning in season 15. That speculation now becomes reality, as Bello is set to exit NCIS in season 18.
"Sloane" will reportedly still appear in eight episodes in season 18, which will premiere on CBS sometime this fall. Whether or not these will precisely be the first eight episodes of the season remains unclear. But the episodes will conclude the storyline of Bello's character.
NCIS season 18 expected to air in Fall 2020
NCIS had its 17th season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Four episodes went unfilmed, but co-showrunner Frank Cardea told TVLine that production will resume from the unplanned season 17 finale, which featured guest star Christopher Lloyd.
CBS hasn't yet confirmed a launch date for its Fall 2020 TV line-up, but NCIS fans now have time to begin processing the departure of "Sloane." Plus, we now know for certain: Season 18 will see the storyline of "Sloane" and "Gibbs" run its course.