Sasha Alexander portrayed Special Agent Caitlin Todd on NCIS, but decided to leave the show after Season 2 on her own accord. This is why she wanted to leave.
As Season 20 of NCIS continues into 2023, only Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum) remains from the procedural’s original cast. However, McCallum’s role has diminished since Season 19, and his departure follows that of another original cast member, Mark Harmon.
Given that NCIS is one of the longest-running television series of all time, it is not surprising that the cast has changed frequently. However, the trend started fairly early, as the first original cast member to leave the show only lasted for two seasons and forty-nine episodes. This cast member’s name was Caitlin “Kate” Todd. This article describes who she was and why she left NCIS.
On NCIS, Who Was Caitlin “Kate” Todd?
Caitlin “Kate” Todd, portrayed by Sasha Alexander, was introduced in the premiere episode of NCIS in 2003, titled “Yankee White,” when she was still a member of the president’s Secret Service detail. During the episode, the Naval officer assigned to transport the “nuclear football” mysteriously dies aboard Air Force One with the president. Gibbs and DiNozzo find that the death was not due to natural causes, despite the fact that some people believe it was. They enlist Caitlin Todd’s assistance and uncover a plot to kill the president.
— Sasha Alexander (@sashaalexander) March 18, 2022
Gibbs was impressed by Kate’s performance and offered her a job before the episode concluded. Kate quit her job soon after she disobeyed the fraternisation rules and joined the NCIS team full-time. She became the junior member of Gibbs’ team and a beloved member of the ensemble cast. The contrast between her more conservative attitude and Tony’s outgoing personality created a humorous effect. Nonetheless, they found common ground when mocking the “newbie” McGee. When Kate was murdered by Ari Haswari in the season two finale, everyone was devastated because the team had become so close.
What Prompted Sasha Alexander’s Departure From NCIS?
As with many other character deaths on television, Kate was not eliminated because the writers or the audience disliked her. In the end, it was Sasha Alexander’s decision to leave the show on her own terms, primarily due to NCIS’s demanding filming schedule.
Alexander explained her departure from NCIS in a 2012 interview with TV Guide. “On a network show, you produce 24 episodes per year — that’s 10 and a half months per year, 17 hours per day. It’s challenging,” she said. This would be difficult for anyone, and even Mark Harmon has commented on the show’s demanding production schedule. Harmon stated in a 2017 interview with The Talk that the first day of filming lasted 21 hours. Since the first season, the schedule has been reduced, but it remains challenging, which is why Harmon is taking on a reduced role as NCIS enters its nineteenth season of production.