‘NCIS’: Characters the Writers Regret Ki.ll.ing Off

NCIS fans have come to love the characters who are on the show as well as characters who left or were kil.led. You might be surprised to learn the fans aren’t the only ones who get upset when characters die. Here’s what the NCIS writers said about having regrets after deciding to ki.ll off a key character.

‘NCIS’ characters who were killed off

NCIS cast with producers and writers |  John Shearer/WireImage
NCIS cast with producers and writers | John Shearer/WireImage

There’s a long list of NCIS characters who didn’t make it. One of note is the death of the character Caitlin Todd, NCIS special junior agent to the Major Case Response Team. She died as a result of injuries from gunshot wounds. Another character death that shocked fans was the death of Jennifer Shepard. She was the NCIS director. Just like Agent Todd, Shepard died from gunshot wounds.

.These are the ‘NCIS’ characters the writers regret ki.l.ling off

Joe Spano, Mark Harmon, and Melinda McGraw on NCIS | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
Joe Spano, Mark Harmon, and Melinda McGraw on NCIS | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

.During an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” host Kevin Frazier, writer and producer Steven D. Binder revealed the characters he wishes he never kil.l.ed off. “There have been a couple. [One] was Melinda McGraw, who played one of Gibbs’ ex-wives,” said Binder. If you follow the show, then you know McGraw played Diane. She made an appearance in NCIS season 16, in which she returned to Gibbs as a ghost.

As you can see, the death of an NCIS character doesn’t mean that person can never come back. “On this show, you can die and still come back,” said writer and producer Frank Cardea. “There are actors who work more here dead than alive,” joked Mark Harmon. Rocky Carroll told Frazier he misses the character Mike Franks (Muse Watson). Carroll said Franks was his favorite character. However, Franks did make an appearance in a later episode. “He’s been back more in the afterlife,” said Carroll.

The ‘NCIS’ writers couldn’t wait to bring back Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David

NCIS star Cote de Pablo | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
NCIS star Cote de Pablo | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Ziva had been absent from NCIS for six years, but the character was still on the writing team’s mind. Their fascination with Ziva led to one of the writers calling Cote de Pablo to talk about the character. This resulted in de Pablo returning to the show so she could continue telling her story. Here’s what de Pablo told the BUILD series host about her unexpected NCIS return.

One of the writers who is a friend but also a terrific writer for NCIS, a woman who always really loved and respected this character, called me up and said, ‘Where do you think Ziva has been? And then we got into this very fun conversation about where the character has been, what I think she’s gone through, where the daughter is, how she feels about Tony, and all these things. And before I knew it, I was once again back feeling all these things about the character. And it was just very easy.